Arrest made in Fort Dix drone drop case

Jersey City man apprehended for alleged involvement in the scheme

A Jersey City man has been arrested in vermont after he allegedly used drones to smuggle contraband into Fort Dix federal prison.
A Jersey City man has been arrested in vermont after he allegedly used drones to smuggle contraband into Fort Dix federal prison.

Law enforcement arrested a Jersey City man for conspiring to use drones to smuggle contraband, including tobacco and cell phone chargers, into the low security federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, as well as for possessing with the intent to distribute narcotics, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Jason Arteaga Loayza, aka “Juice,” 29, was charged by complaint in November 2019 with one count of conspiring to smuggle contraband and to defraud the United States, and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute a substance containing heroin and fentanyl.

Almost a year later, on Oct. 12, federal marshals arrested Arteaga Loayza in Vermont. His initial appearance was schedule for Oct. 14 before U.S. Magistrate John M. Conroy in Burlington federal court in Vermont.

Smuggling scheme discovered

According to documents filed in this case, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (DOJ-OIG), obtained evidence that Arteaga Loayza, an inmate at Fort Dix from June 2017 to September 2018, allegedly participated in multiple drone deliveries of contraband meant for inmates between October 2018 and April 2019.

On Oct. 30, 2018, Fort Dix officers saw a drone with a fishing line hovering above the rooftop of a housing unit.

Officers responded to the top floor of the housing unit and discovered a black trash bag directly underneath the hatch that led to the rooftop. The bolts securing the hatch appeared to have been removed.

Inside the bag were approximately 127 small bags of Bugler tobacco, approximately 10 cell phone chargers, and approximately 10 USB charging cables.

In the same area officers also found a cell phone that was used to coordinate the drone drop.

It communicated with Arteaga Loayza approximately 330 times between, on, or about Oct. 24, 2018, and Oct. 29, 2018, leading up to the drop.

According to court documents, Arteaga Loayza’s iCloud account contained screenshots of Google search results for “fort dix weather” in October 2018 and screenshots of live chats with an unnamed inmate coconspirator taken just days before the drop.

During a search of Arteaga Loayza’s residence in June 2019, agents discovered a kitchen closet that allegedly contained packages of empty cell phone boxes, cell phone chargers, empty boxes of SIM cards, and several phones, including a box that had been shipped to Arteaga the day before the drop.

The kitchen closet allegedly contained a tobacco box consistent with the tobacco that had been recovered in drone drops.

Each of the drone drops that followed the Oct. 30, 2018, drop contained cell phones or cell phone equipment, and an additional drone drop contained tobacco.

Arteaga Loayza also had a suitcase in his bedroom that allegedly contained his driver’s license, 20 packets of Suboxone Sublingual Film, a prescription opiate that is used to treat dependence on opioid drugs, and a plastic bag containing moe than 21 grams of a substance containing heroin and fentanyl.

Coordinated drops

In a separate search of his residence in October 2018, one of the cell phones obtained during the search contained communications with a contact saved as “Adogfy,” in which he and Adogfy allegedly coordinated drone drops on Fort Dix.

The phone showed communications and a call between Arteaga Loayza and Adogfy on April 15, 2019. The next morning, a package of contraband with a cord attached to it was found in Fort Dix.

The package contained packets of Hydroxycut drink mix, vacuum-sealed bags of tobacco, cellphone batteries, reading glasses, and a cell phone.

On April 22, 2019, Adogfy sent Arteaga Loayza a photo that appeared to be an aerial shot of Fort Dix.  Approximately two minutes later, Arteaga Loayza sent back the same photo marked with two yellow lines, and a message: “Behind the buildind …where the yellow is the long yellow line is a fence.”

Approximately one minute later, Adogfy sent Arteaga Loayza another aerial photo that appeared to be Fort Dix, with orange target marks over several housing units. Arteaga Loayza responded with the same photo, marked with a black dot behind a particular housing unit, and a message stating, “Black dot.”

Later that week, Arteaga Loayza sent Adogfy a message asking, “U think that u cud do something 2m.”

Adogfy responded, “2m too windy 20 mph.”

According to court documents, Areaga Loayza received payments from people connected with Fort Dix inmates. On or about Oct. 26,2018, he received a $900 payment from an individual who had sent money to and had telephone calls with an inmate at Fort Dix, and on or about Nov. 24, 2018, he received a $1,700 payment from an individual who was listed in BOP records as the nephew of an inmate who was at Fort Dix.

Two other men, Adrian Goolcharran, aka “Adrian Ahoda” and “Adrian Ajoda,” and Nicolo Denichilo, have been charged with participating in the scheme to use drones to smuggle contraband into Fort Dix.

They have been released on bail pending further proceedings and are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Facing 20 years in prison

The offenses charged in the complaint carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000 for the conspiracy count and 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the narcotics count.

The charges and allegations against Arteaga Loayza are merely accusations. He is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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