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Press Release

Alton Couple Sentenced for Marijuana Conspiracy Based Out of their Family Home

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A local couple will serve 10 years in federal prison for their roles in a drug conspiracy they ran out of their home in Alton, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Rodolfo Chavez Gonzalez, 53, pleaded guilty Nov. 29, 2016, as did his wife - Maria Elizabeth Gonzalez, 48.


Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos handed Chavez Gonzalez the 120-month sentence for possession with intent to distribute more than 150 kilograms of marijuana.


His wife was sentenced March 30, 2017, to also serve 120 months in federal prison. Their sentences will be immediately followed by eight-year-terms of supervised release.


The long-term investigation led to the identification of Rodolfo and Maria Gonzalez as the facilitators of multiple marijuana smuggling events, which had been thwarted by agents at the Falfurrias Border Patrol (BP) checkpoint.


Both Rodolfo and Maria Gonzalez admitted they had knowingly hired co-conspirators to transport marijuana, concealed inside of tires, from their family home in Alton to buyers in the Houston area. At the time of their pleas, they also acknowledged they faced enhanced punishment in this case as they each had been previously convicted of the same offense in the Southern District of Texas in 2001.


The couple has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.


The remaining defendants have all entered pleas of guilty and await sentencing for their respective roles in the conspiracy.


The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with the assistance of U.S. Border Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittany L. Jensen is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 8, 2017

Drug Trafficking