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Press Release

Defendant sentenced to Federal Prison for trafficking 59 pounds of “Ice”

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia

ATLANTA - Rigoberto Fernandez-Gonzalez, a/k/a Juan Garcia, has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute 59 pounds of methamphetamine, or “ice,” and for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.


“This defendant sought to unleash an enormous quantity of narcotics into the community without regard for the damage it would have caused,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Thanks to the swift actions of law enforcement, he was stopped in his tracks.”


“This investigation is evidence of ATF’s commitment to combating firearms crimes and drug trafficking. ATF’s Frontline strategy utilizes every available resource to make our communities safer places to live,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Wayne Dixie.


According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: In early 2016, law enforcement learned that Rigoberto Fernandez-Gonzalez was involved in manufacturing methamphetamine. On March 8, 2016, officers with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a residence in Fairburn, Georgia. Law enforcement suspected that Fernandez-Gonzalez used this location as a clandestine laboratory for the conversion of liquid methamphetamine to crystalline form. Inside the home, officers discovered a makeshift laboratory, consisting of a single propane burner and large pot, along with various chemicals, car batteries, digital scales, plastic containers, and three to four gallons of liquid methamphetamine – all materials commonly used in the conversion of methamphetamine.


When officers arrived, they found Fernandez-Gonzalez actively converting liquid methamphetamine. He had already converted a massive quantity to crystalline form as well. Officers seized 59 pounds of “ice,” later determined to be 99% pure. In addition, officers recovered two loaded firearms, at least one of which was stolen.


Rigoberto Fernandez-Gonzalez, a/k/a Juan Garcia, 47, a Mexican national, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark H. Cohen, to 22 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. In addition, the Court ordered Fernandez-Gonzalez to be turned over to Immigration officials for removal proceedings, after serving his custodial sentence, and ordered forfeiture of the recovered firearms and ammunition. He was sentenced on June 20, 2017. Fernandez-Gonzalez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense on March 27, 2017.


This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly K. Connors prosecuted the case.


The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site:


For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated June 27, 2017

Drug Trafficking