Jury Convicts Angleton Man in Marijuana Case
|April 16, 2012|
LAREDO, Texas – Carlos Gonzalez, 44, of Angleton, Texas, has been convicted of possessing with intent to distribute 637 kilograms of marijuana, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
During trial, the jury heard testimony from a United States Border Patrol agent who stopped Gonzalez as he was towing a trailer with fake paper dealer tags. The agent described Gonzalez’s nervous behavior when he saw the marked Border Patrol unit car on Highway 83 and that he saw an after-market compartment built underneath the wooden floorboards. The agent stated he could also smell marijuana while standing next to the trailer.
After a positive canine alert, the agents pulled open the wooden floorboards, revealing the hidden compartment filled with 76 bundles of marijuana wrapped in cellophane and weighing nearly 1400 pounds (637 kilograms). The jury also heard testimony that when agents told Gonzalez they had found marijuana in his trailer, Gonzalez claimed responsibility for what was discovered.
Gonzalez did not testify on his own behalf. As part of his defense, it was argued that his nervous behavior is typical of anyone stopped by the police.
United States District Court Judge George P. Kazen, who presided over the trial, accepted the jury’s verdict and has set sentencing for a later date, at which time he faces up to life in prison and a $10 million fine. He has been in custody since his Sept. 28, 2011, arrest where he will remain pending that sentencing hearing.
The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonah Lee prosecuted the case.