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Oct. 12, 2011

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Former Detention Center Guard Sentenced to Four Years in Cocaine Sting

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A former Willacy County Detention Center guard received his sentence yesterday after having previously been convicted of attempting to possess with intent to distribute what he believed to be cocaine, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.  

Christopher Gonzalez, 30, of Rio Hondo, Texas, was sentenced yesterday to four years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release by United States Judge Hilda G. Tagle. Gonzalez pleaded guilty before Judge Tagle on March 14, 2011.

Gonzalez was employed as a corrections officer at the Willacy County Detention Center.

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. He received $2,000 to hold onto the two kilograms of cocaine and 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. 

Previously released on bond, Gonzalez was permitted to remain on bond pending an order to voluntarily surrender to  a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

United States Attorney Joseph Leonard prosecuted the case.