Front Page Detectives

Ohio Narcotics Officer Admits to Selling Stolen Cocaine Confiscated as Evidence in Drug Investigation

Former Ohio Narcotics Officer Admits to Selling Stolen Drugs
Source: Northwest Ohio Corrections Center; Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

John Castillo (right) pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and officials say he worked with fellow officer Joel Mefford (left).

Jun. 19 2024, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to FlipboardShare to Email

A former Columbus Police officer pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio said in a statement.

John Castillo, 31, was a member of the Columbus Police Department assigned to investigate drug crimes at the time of the conspiracy with another officer to steal and sell approximately 10 kilograms, or about 22 pounds, of cocaine.

Article continues below advertisement

In February 2021, Castillo and the other officer took 10 kilograms of cocaine from a house on North Everett Avenue and failed to turn it into police evidence.

Instead, they planted a separate two kilos of cocaine at the house for police to find later that day. They stored the stolen 10 kilograms of cocaine in the other officer's basement before transferring it to another individual to sell it for them.

Castillo pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, which is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison up to life in prison.

Although the other officer involved in the conspiracy with Castillo was not named, his arrest in February this year was carried out on the same day as the arrest of another Columbus police officer, Joel M. Mefford.

Article continues below advertisement

Mefford is accused of seizing one kilogram of cocaine during an illegal search in February 2020, leaving a second kilogram to be found in a law enforcement raid the following day. He allegedly passed the stolen cocaine to another individual to sell.

He then allegedly stole several more kilograms of cocaine during another investigation in March 2020, passing the drugs on to another party to be sold.

Never miss a story — sign up for the Front Page Detectives newsletter. Be on the scene the moment news breaks.

He is also accused of stealing a further 20 kilograms of cocaine from police evidence in April 2020, replacing it with fake cocaine. According to his indictment, he deposited $72,000 in proceeds from drug sales into his personal bank account.

Mefford was charged with possessing with one count of intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, two counts of possessing with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and money laundering.

TMX contributed to this report.


Become a Front Page Detective

Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.

More Stories

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 FRONT PAGE DETECTIVES™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. FRONT PAGE DETECTIVES is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.