NIU student from Naperville jailed in drug case

<p>Naperville resident Ryan C. Castner, who is already awaiting trial on drunken-driving charges, remains in DeKalb County Jail, for allegedly possessing ecstasy and marijuana in his dormitory room at Northern Illinois University. | Courtesy of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office</p>

Naperville resident Ryan C. Castner, who is already awaiting trial on drunken-driving charges, remains in DeKalb County Jail, for allegedly possessing ecstasy and marijuana in his dormitory room at Northern Illinois University. | Courtesy of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

A man from Naperville’s southeast side already awaiting trial on drunken-driving charges has new and potentially more serious legal trouble, after being accused of having ecstasy, marijuana and other contraband in his dormitory room at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

Ryan C. Castner, 19, lives on the 2200 block of University Drive, in the city’s University Heights neighborhood. He remained Thursday night in DeKalb County Jail in Sycamore.

Castner faces trial on two felony charges of the manufacture or delivery of 30 to 500 grams of marijuana, according to records on file in DeKalb County Circuit Court. He is also charged with individual, felony counts of the manufacture of five to 15 grams of ecstasy and possession of between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana, court records indicated.

He also is scheduled to appear next month in DuPage County Circuit Court in Wheaton. Naperville police in mid-March arrested Castner for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of a combination of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicating compound, as well as illegal possession of alcohol, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, court records showed.

Northern Illinois University Police Chief Thomas Phillips confirmed Castner was arrested about 3:27 a.m. Jan. 16, after police responded to a tip and allegedly found him in possession of ecstasy, heroin, marijuana and narcotics paraphernalia.

Police knocked on the door to Castner’s room to question him about the drug allegations, Phillips said. Castner denied any wrongdoing and refused to let officers inside, even as they allegedly noted the odor of marijuana in the room.

“When he closed the door, they could hear him shuffling around inside,” Phillips said of Castner. He eventually opened the door, descended a staircase and went outside to smoke a cigarette, Phillips said.

Castner, after smoking, allegedly gave police “consent to search the room,” Phillips said. Officers then checked both the room itself and the outside grounds directly beneath Castner’s window, he said.

Police recovered quantities of alleged ecstasy, marijuana and pills containing heroin from the outdoors, “so he’d obviously discarded it from his room,” Phillips said. Police also found hypodermic needles, small plastic bags and other reputed narcotics paraphernalia inside Castner’s room, along with other drugs, Phillips said.

Castner’s past troubles in Naperville include a May 2009 arrest for criminal damage to property; a July 2011 charge of interfering with a city officer; and a March count of battery/mob action, according to DuPage County court records.

He was placed on six months of supervision and ordered to make restitution in the property damage case, and ordered to perform 20 hours of community service work in the interference matter, court records indicated. The battery/mob action case was dismissed, after the alleged victim of that crime failed to appear in court to testify against Castner, records showed.

Castner has been banned from the NIU campus, pending a judicial review of the new allegations against him. He is scheduled to appear Feb. 27 in DeKalb County Circuit Court and March 11 in DuPage County Circuit Court.

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