ST. LOUIS, MO – United States District Judge John A. Ross sentenced Ramon Gonzalez, Jr. to 268 months in prison today. The 48-year-old St. Peters, Missouri resident pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
During 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began an investigation into a drug trafficking enterprise by several co-defendants. The DEA conducted multiple controlled purchases in July, August and September, from a co-defendant residing in rural Missouri. DEA identified several other co-conspirators, and learned that one of them was in regular telephone contact.
The investigation grew to include targets in Kansas City and California. Investigators used judicially authorized wiretaps to identify co-conspirators and determine their roles. Investigators, in March 2019, intercepted a co-defendant speaking with Gonzalez. The call revealed the co-defendant intended to meet with Gonzalez to pick-up cash from the sales of various controlled substances.
On March 8, 2019, deputies from the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department located the co-defendant’s vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate 44. During a traffic stop, deputies searched the co-defendant’s vehicle and discovered a box containing $197,660 in drug proceeds.
In March and April 2019, DEA used informants to make controlled purchases of large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl directly from Gonzalez. One of these purchases occurred at Gonzalez’s residence in St. Peters. On April 25, 2019, investigators executed a search warrant at that residence, during which they seized 6,386 grams of fentanyl, 5,547 grams of methamphetamine, 5,013 grams of heroin and 3,961 grams of cocaine. In a separate location nearby, they located and seized more than 20 firearms, many of which had been stolen and traded for drugs.
“Big poly-drug trafficking operations like this one require many law enforcement agencies to successfully dismantle,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Erik Smith, head of the DEA St. Louis Division. “Fortunately, DEA’s partnership with the St. Charles County Drug Task Force, Police Department and Prosecutor’s Office, along with other agencies, helped assemble the evidence to end his illegal business practice.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Marshals Service and multiple law enforcement agencies investigated this case.