Corpus Christi Used Car Dealership Owner Sentenced to Prison for Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering
|Dec. 15, 2011|
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Corpus Christi used car dealership owner who arranged for the delivery and transport of approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine to an undercover agent has been sentenced to prison, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Angel Mario Gonzalez, 48, of Corpus Christi and the owner of Mario’s Used Cares and Detail, was sentenced to prison today by Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 20 kilograms of cocaine and laundering drug proceeds. Gonzalez pleaded guilty in April 2011. Today, Judge Head sentenced Gonzalez to a total of 210 months imprisonment to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release and fined him $5,000. Gonzalez is one of a trio of men charged for their involvement in trafficking cocaine. The other two defendants, George Jacob Puebla III, 30, and Charles Ambrose Chavana, 26, both of Corpus Christi, also pleaded guilty in April and were sentenced in September 2011.
The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operation dubbed “Riptide” leading to the charges against the three men was conducted by special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, ATF and Homeland Security Investigations along with deputies of the United States Marshals Service and officers and deputies of the Corpus Christi Police Department and sheriff’s offices in Kleberg and Nueces Counties.
Gonzalez, Puebla and Chavana were arrested in January 2011 following the delivery of 19 kilograms of cocaine to an undercover agent in the parking lot of a Corpus Christi hotel. Gonzalez, who had previously sold one kilogram of cocaine to the agent in December 2010 for $24,000, had arranged with Puebla to deliver an additional 20 kilograms of cocaine on Jan. 20, 2011, for sale to the agent for more than $400,000. After Gonzalez met with the agent in the parking lot, Puebla and Chavana arrived in separate vehicles. After a brief discussion with Puebla, Gonzalez walked to Chavana’s vehicle. There he retrieved an orange cooler containing 19 kilograms of cocaine and delivered the cooler to the agent. Following the delivery of the contraband, agents and officers conducting surveillance of the meeting arrested the three men. In addition to the prison sentence handed down today, the court entered a final order directing Gonzalez to forfeit the $24,000 paid by the agent for the one kilogram of cocaine in December 2010.
Puebla and Chavana were sentenced by Judge Head on Sept. 15, 2011. Puebla was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison without parole to be followed by 10-year-term of supervised release, while Chavana was sentenced to 135 months imprisonment to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release.
All three men have been in federal custody without bond since their January arrests and will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie K. Hampton