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March 15, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Mexican Citizens Residing in Johnson City and Baileyton Plead Guilty to Cocaine and Firearms Charges

GREENEVILLE, Tenn - Raul Alfaro, 56, of Baileyton, Tenn., and Benito Gonzalez, 27, of Johnson City, Tenn., both citizens of Mexico, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. Sentencing dates for both Alfaro and Gonzalez have been set for July 12, 2012, before the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge.

On multiple occasions during October and November 2011, Alfaro sold ounces of cocaine, which he obtained from Gonzalex, to a confidential informant working on the behalf of law enforcement. By the middle of November, Alfaro began negotiating the sale of up to 12 ounces of cocaine at one time to the informant. He also offered to sell the informant a variety of firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle. In order to show the weapons he had for sale, Alfaro took pictures of the AK-47, a.380 pistol, a .357 magnum, a 9mm pistol and a shotgun and texted them to the informant. In November 2011 Alfaro met the informant again and sold him the .357 revolver. During this recorded transaction, Alfaro said that he and his supplier Gonzalez would be ready to sell 9 to 12 ounces of cocaine in about a week.

In November 2011, law enforcement agents conducted a “buy bust” on a vehicle occupied by Alfaro and Gonzalez in Johnson City right before the deal with the informant was schedule to occur. Agents searched the vehicle and found approximately 10 ounces of cocaine, digital scales, the 9mm pistol Alfaro had previously offered to sell and a magazine with six rounds of ammunition.

Search warrants were subsequently executed at the residences of Alfaro and Gonzalez. During the search of Alfaro’s residence, agents located and seized six firearms and close to 400 rounds of ammunition. During the search of Gonzalez’s residence, agents located and seized over $20,000.00 in U.S. currency, a .25 caliber handgun, ammunition, approximately 45 grams of cocaine and digital scales.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to the indictment and subsequent convictions of Alfaro and Gonzalez include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, First Judicial Drug Task Force, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Third Judicial Drug Task Force, Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force, Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson City Police Department, and Elizabethton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.

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