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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Mexican man pled guilty to drug and immigration offenses today, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joel Gonzalez-Gomez, 31, of Chiapas, Mexico, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and illegal reentry of a removed alien.  As a result of his guilty plea, Gonzalez-Gomez is subject to removal proceedings.

“This meth dealer with several pounds of the drug and three firearms is also an illegal alien with 5 prior removals,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Gonzalez-Gomez is a dangerous poison peddler – certainly not the kind of immigrant we welcome into our country.  We embrace those who come into our country and abide by our laws, but those who don’t will face the consequences.”

On two occasions in October 2019, Gonzalez-Gomez sold methamphetamine to an informant working for the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT).  On November 20, 2019, MDENT, along with agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Homeland Security (HSI), executed a search warrant at the residence of Gonzalez-Gomez in Rand.  They recovered several pounds of methamphetamine and three firearms.  Gonzalez-Gomez was arrested the same day at a residence in Cottageville, Jackson County, West Virginia.  Gonzalez-Gomez admitted his drug trafficking activities as well as to having been deported once in 2013, twice in 2015, and once in both 2016 and 2018. 

Gonzalez-Gomez faces 5 to 50 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 4, 2021. 

MDENT, DEA, HSI, and the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Joshua C. Hanks is handling the prosecution.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-00157.

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