Centertown man pleads guilty to drug charges

A Centertown man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine last year.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the incidents involving Eric Castop, 31, occurred in March and May 2013.

He faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

On March 9, 2013, a cooperating source with law enforcement made a controlled buy of approximately 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from Castrop on a parking lot in Cole County. Castrop was captured on video completing the transaction.

On May 12, 2013, another source saw Castrop in possession of approximately 6 ounces of marijuana at his residence. The source was present when Castrop was packaging the methamphetamine for resale, and also witnessed Castrop sell a portion of it to one of his customers.

A search warrant was obtained for Castrop’s residence at 8024 Alverno Drive in Centertown, where he lived with his parents.

A source told authorities Castrop lived in the basement of the residence and kept his drugs and money in a safe in the basement.

Castrop was not at home when the search warrant was served, but his mother was present. She said she and her husband never went down to the basement and were unaware of his drug trafficking activities.

Authorities found Castrop’s Missouri non-driver license on top of a safe in his downstairs bedroom, and numerous bags commonly used to package drugs, along with other drug paraphernalia, were located near or on the safe. Inside the locked safe, investigators located approximately 2.2 ounces of suspected methamphetamine, $7,109 in U.S. currency, and a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine. The suspected methamphetamine was packaged in eight different bags, most containing different weights consistent with quantities for distribution. A field test on one of the bags was positive for methamphetamine content.

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