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Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced to 12.5 Years in Prison

MAY 23 (ASHEVILLE, N.C.) – Joel Elias Gonzalez, 53, formerly of Franklin, N.C. was sentenced yesterday to 151 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for trafficking large quantities of crystal methamphetamine, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Gonzalez pleaded guilty in February 2016 to one count of distribution of methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making today’s announcement by Daniel R. Salter, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division; Sheriff Robert L. Holland of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office; and Sheriff Chip Hall of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to filed court documents and statements made in court, from in or about June of 2015, Gonzalez was responsible for trafficking large amounts of crystal methamphetamine (crystal meth) in the Franklin, N.C. area and the Rabun County, Georgia area. Court records indicate that Gonzalez purchased the crystal meth from a source of supply in and around Atlanta, Georgia. According to court records, Gonzalez and was responsible for trafficking approximately 1.3 kilograms of crystal meth.
 
Gonzalez is in federal custody and will be transferred to custody of the Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose noted that multiple agencies worked together to bring this prolific crystal methamphetamine trafficker to justice and thanked the DEA, the ATF, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County’s Sheriff’s Office for investigating this case.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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