Mexican national convicted in cocaine trafficking trial | USAO-SDAL
MOBILE, AL – A federal jury convicted a Mexican national last week of possession with intent to distribute several kilograms of cocaine.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Gilberto Gonzalez-Gonzalez, 44, of Houston, Texas, was driving a flatbed truck from Houston to Atlanta, Georgia when he was arrested by a Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputy for a traffic violation on Interstate 65. The jury heard evidence that on January 25, 2021, Gonzalez drove the truck from Texas to Alabama while his passenger and co-defendant, Daniel Eric Corona, was asleep. Gonzalez and Corona did not have the proper papers for the load they claimed to be carrying and had no valid proof of insurance.
During a consent search of the truck, MPs opened a locked compartment and found a sports bag containing 16 individually wrapped packages of cocaine weighing more than 35 pounds in total. According to expert testimony presented at trial, the cocaine had a wholesale value of over $ 500,000 and a market value of over $ 6 million. The jury also reviewed evidence of Gonzalez’s cell phone containing images of cocaine and WhatsApp messages discussing the “kilos” and prices of cocaine. Gonzalez’s crime carries a potential sentence of ten years to life in prison. He will be sentenced by US District Judge Terry F. Moorer in February 2022.
Corona pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for cocaine trafficking in September 2021. He also faces ten years in life imprisonment and will be sentenced by Judge Moorer on December 16, 2021.
US Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Prosecutors Justin Roller and Deborah Griffin pursued the case on behalf of the United States.