Pawtucket Man Sentenced To 14 Years In Federal Prison For Trafficking Heroin From Venezuela
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Carlos Gonzalez, 42, of Pawtucket, R.I., was sentenced today to 168 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute one kilo or more of heroin, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Gonzalez was arrested by federal agents in January 2012, shortly after he accepted delivery of a parcel which had contained a large quantity of heroin stashed inside a pair of flat screened monitors shipped from Venezuela to his Pawtucket residence.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith also ordered Gonzalez to serve five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Gonzalez pleaded guilty on August 30, 2012, to possession with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
According to information presented to the court, on January 20, 2012, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Miami selected the parcel for intensive exam based on anomalies observed when x-rayed. A certified drug dog also alerted to the package. Agents opened the package and discovered two flat screen monitors which emitted a strong chemical odor. One of the monitors was opened to reveal a light brown substance which field tested positive for heroin.
The parcel was re-packaged to its original state for a possible controlled delivery to Gonzalez at his Pawtucket residence. CBP agents forwarded the parcel to Homeland Security Investigations agents in Rhode Island who removed the heroin from the package and replaced it with a representative sample of heroin.
According to information presented to the court, on January 26, 2012, an undercover U.S. Postal Inspection Service agent delivered the parcel to Gonzalez at his residence. Gonzalez acknowledged to the agent that he was expecting the package, then signed for it and accepted delivery. A short time later, as he attempted to drive away from the area, Gonzalez was detained in a traffic stop and was returned to the apartment by uniformed Rhode Island State Troopers. He was not in possession of the subject parcel when he was stopped. After Gonzalez was returned to his residence, agents searched the apartment and recovered the package containing the flat screen monitors.
The suspect heroin was tested at the DEA Regional Laboratory in New York. It tested positive for 1.322 kilograms of heroin.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan.