Philadelphia Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Role in Drug Trafficking Organization -shipped drugs via overnight mail to US

CAMDEN, N.J. – 5/15/24 – A manager for a drug trafficking organization that purchased over 100 kilograms of cocaine in Puerto Rico and shipped the kilograms to residences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey was sentenced to 120 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Jose Gonzalez, 51, Philadelphia, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Christine P. O’Hearn to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Judge O’Hearn imposed the sentence on May 14, 2024, in Camden federal court.

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 that he had a management 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, agents seized over $120,000 in cash during a search of his residence in Philadelphia and a 9mm handgun from an auto garage that Gonzalez operated in Philadelphia. As part of his plea agreement, Gonzalez agreed to the forfeiture of the U.S. currency and the 9mm handgun, as well as the forfeiture of a Dodge Ram pickup truck that was used in connection with the drug trafficking conspiracy.

In addition to the prison term, Judge O’Hearn sentenced Gonzalez to five years of supervised release and ordered forfeiture of $120,900, a 9 mm handgun, and a Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Philadelphia Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Christopher A. Nielsen; agents of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Field Office, under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi; special agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs in Philadelphia; troopers assigned to the New Jersey State Police Strategic Investigations Unit South, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and officers and detectives of the Philadelphia Police Department, under the direction of Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel, with the investigation leading to the sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Updated May 15, 2024

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