MANTUA — A 26-year-old township man faces numerous charges related to his alleged, attempted manufacturing of "ghost guns," firearms that are assembled from various parts not imprinted with serial numbers, making them hard to trace.

A release from the New Jersey State Police on Thursday said that on March 5, following an investigation opened in January, State Police detectives along with Mantua and Atlantic City authorities and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives personnel executed a search warrant at the residence and in a Subaru sedan of Mantua resident Carlos Castillo, who was present at the scene at that time.

The investigation had found that Castillo was allegedly obtaining ghost gun kits in Massachusetts, transporting them to his residence, and beginning to assemble the weapons for distribution throughout Gloucester County.

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The search of the home and vehicle yielded one fully assembled ghost gun, 16 partially assembled ghost guns, manufacturing tools, and the requisite parts to complete all 16 of the unfinished weapons, according to State Police.

Castillo was arrested without incident and is now charged with unlawful possession of a firearm with no serial number, unlawful possession of a weapon, and unlawful possession of firearm parts to manufacture a firearm without a serial number.

He is lodged in the Salem County Correctional Facility pending a hearing, State Police said.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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