CAMDEN, NJ – An official for a drug trafficking organization that purchased more than 100 kilograms of cocaine in Puerto Rico and shipped the kilograms to residences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey admitted today today his role in the conspiracy, US attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Jose Gonzalez, 50, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Christine P. O’Hearn in federal court in Camden to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more cocaine.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From March 2019 to August 2020, Gonzalez and other conspirators traveled on commercial flights from Philadelphia International Airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico on numerous occasions. They purchased multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from wholesale drug suppliers based in the San Juan area in exchange for cash payments. Gonzalez and the other conspirators then shipped the kilograms of cocaine by overnight delivery from U.S. post offices in San Juan to addresses in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Gonzalez resold the kilograms to other drug dealers in the Philadelphia area for a profit. Gonzalez admitted he had a managerial role in the conspiracy and that he and the other conspirators purchased and shipped over 100 kilograms of cocaine.
When Gonzalez was arrested in August 2020, officers seized more than $120,000 in cash during a search of his Philadelphia residence and a 9mm handgun from an auto garage Gonzalez operated in Philadelphia. As part of his plea deal, Gonzalez agreed to the forfeiture of U.S. currency and the 9mm handgun, as well as the forfeiture of a Dodge Ram pickup truck that was used in the trafficking plot. drug.
The drug trafficking conspiracy charge carries a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $10 million. Sentencing is scheduled for January 30, 2023.
US Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Philadelphia Division, under Acting Inspector in Charge Raimundo Marrero; officers from the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Postal Service, Northeast Region Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi; special agents from the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; FBI special agents, under Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire in Philadelphia; soldiers assigned to the New Jersey State Police’s Southern Strategic Investigations Unit, under Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and officers and detectives from the Philadelphia Police Department, under the direction of Police Commissioner Daniel Outlaw, the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.