Burlington County Man Admits Drug and Gun Charges
TRENTON, N.J. - A Burlington County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a scheme to possess and distribute methamphetamine and illegally possess firearms, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) New Jersey Field Division Cheryl Ortiz and U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Nicholas Layton, 43, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count each of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
In December of 2018, Layton and his conspirator were stopped in Crawford County, Arkansas, in possession of over three kilograms of methamphetamine. In July of 2019, Layton possessed two firearms; a rifle and a shotgun after having been previously convicted in the District of New Jersey of a drug trafficking offense. At the time of his arrest in August of 2019, Layton possessed approximately 200 grams of methamphetamine.
The drug trafficking counts to which Layton pleaded guilty carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million. The firearms offense to which Layton pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2024.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Camden Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz in Newark; the DEA Fort Smith Post of Duty under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley, New Orleans Field Division; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bryan Miller, Newark Field Division; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, under the direction of Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw; and officers of the Arkansas State Police, under the direction of Col. Mike Hagar, with the investigation leading to today's guilty plea.