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March 14, 2011


(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) - A former jail guard has been convicted of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine bound for the detention center, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

Christopher Gonzalez, 29, a United States citizen who had been employed at the Willacy County Detention Center as a corrections officer, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to possess with intent to distribute cocaine at a hearing before United States District Judge Hilda G. Tagle. Gonzalez now faces a maximum of 40 years imprisonment at sentencing. Judge Tagle set Gonzalez’s sentencing for June 13, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. 
The charges against Gonzalez are the result of an undercover investigation conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the U.S. Marshals Service initiated in October 2010. In November 2010, Gonzalez made arrangements with a source to discuss Gonzalez bringing almost two kilograms of cocaine into the Willacy County Detention Center, a little at a time. On Nov. 10, 2010, Gonzalez took possession from an undercover officer of a vehicle containing simulated cocaine hidden inside and received $2,000 as an advance payment for bringing in the first ounce of cocaine into the detention center. Gonzalez was later stopped by a DPS trooper and the simulated cocaine was seized. 

Gonzalez has been permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing. 

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. Leonard is prosecuting the case.

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