On July 1, 2023, Patch reported that Marco Antonio Gonzalez, a Dallas drug dealer known as “Speedy,” was sentenced to life in prison. He was convicted of drug trafficking and other charges after a lengthy trial.
The 45-year-old man was found guilty in December 2021 of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Gonzalez was the leader of a drug trafficking operation that used his car dealership, Hampton Motors, as a front.
They said Gonzalez and his associates would store drugs at the dealership and then sell them to customers. The jury also heard testimony that Gonzalez had threatened a witness who was going to testify against him.
In handing down the life sentence, United States District Judge Brantley Starr said Gonzalez was a danger to the community and that his actions had a “devastating impact” on the lives of others. Gonzalez is the latest in a string of drug traffickers to be sentenced to life in prison in the Dallas area.
In recent years, federal prosecutors have cracked down on drug trafficking in the region, leading to a number of high-profile convictions. The case against Gonzalez was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Dallas Police Department, the Garland Police Department, and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys P.J. Meitl and John Kull.
The month before that news, WFAA-TV reported that Dallas police seized a variety of drugs and cash from a neighborhood drug dealer. The bust took place on March 31, 2023, in the 840 block of Emberwood Drive in Redbird.
The search warrant was executed by the Dallas Police Department’s Placed Network Investigations Unit, Narcotics Unit, and SWAT team. The investigation was launched after the Placed Network Investigations Unit received a drug complaint at the Redbird location.
As a result of the search, police seized more than 180 grams of methamphetamine, nearly five kilos of marijuana, along with alprazolam, promethazine, and cash. Three people were arrested in connection with the drug bust.
Chief Garcia tweeted about the investigation, saying that the neighbors in the area were “thanking us” and that before the drug bust, the kids on that block “couldn’t walk by the house.” “It’s why we do… what we do! And we aren’t even close to being done!” Garcia also said in his tweet.
The drug bust is the latest in a series of high-profile drug enforcement operations in the Dallas area. In June 2023, a North Texas man was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison after pleading guilty in connection to the largest drug bust in Lake Worth Police Department history.
Jon “Spanky” Curb was arrested in May 2023, after detectives launched an undercover investigation called “Operation Safe Neighborhood.” The search warrant that led to Curb’s arrest was executed at his home in the 6600 block of Lakeside Drive.
Police said the drugs seized from Curb’s home were estimated at $2,285,250 in street value. They also said that the volume of drugs seized represented an estimated “11,721 lethal doses.”
The drug busts in Dallas and Lake Worth are a reminder of the ongoing battle against drug trafficking in the North Texas area. Police are committed to taking drugs off the streets and making neighborhoods safer for everyone.
That same month, CBS News reported that a 22-year-old drug trafficker pleaded guilty to multiple drug crimes, including distributing fentanyl to teenagers, leading to a string of overdoses in the Carrollton Farmer’s Branch Independent School District. The man admitted to distributing more than 200,000 fentanyl pills to customers in north Texas over several months, at a rate of about 40,000 pills per month.
He sold these lethal pills to a network of juvenile and adult dealers in Carrollton, who in turn sold them to friends, classmates, and other customers. His drug trade was further fueled by social media platforms like Instagram, where he advertised his dangerous products.
The consequences of the man’s actions have been devastating. Nine teenagers in the Carrollton Farmer’s Branch Independent School District suffered from overdoses linked to his drugs, ranging in age from 13 to 17.
These tragedies underscore the importance of combatting drug trafficking and ensuring that those responsible for distributing dangerous substances are held accountable for their actions. The United States Attorney and DEA have made it clear that they are committed to prosecuting individuals like the man and dismantling the networks responsible for spreading these deadly drugs.
By pleading guilty, the man now faces up to 40 years in federal prison, providing some measure of justice for the lives impacted by his criminal activities. The sentencing is scheduled for October 4th.
It is hoped that this case will serve as a stern warning to others involved in drug trafficking and a reminder of the importance of safeguarding communities against the dangers of illicit drugs like fentanyl.
On May 16, 2023, KXAS-TV reported that a fentanyl trafficker who was linked to juvenile overdoses in Carrollton and Flower Mound pleaded guilty to a drug crime. A 29-year-old Carrollton woman pleaded guilty to a charge of one count of distribution of a controlled substance to a person under 21 years of age.
The woman was charged in February 2023 in connection with a drug distribution scheme that has been linked to at least 12 juvenile overdoses, three of them fatal, in Carrollton and Flower Mound since September 2022. In plea papers, the woman admitted that she distributed fentanyl-laced pills to juveniles from the home of her co-defendant on Highland Drive in Carrollton.
The round blue pills, imprinted with M/30, resembled prescription narcotics, but were actually counterfeit, according to federal officials. The woman said her co-defendant stored the counterfeit pills near the front door of their home and distributed them to customers who came by the house, including a network of juvenile dealers who dealt to other minors.
On at least three occasions, the woman admitted, she distributed pills directly to customers, including a 16-year-old, at Navarrete’s direction. She is the first defendant to enter a guilty plea in the drug distribution scheme.
The woman faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a $2 million fine. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.
Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which can be equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, may be considered a lethal dose. Without laboratory testing, there is no way for people to know how much fentanyl might be concentrated in a pill or powder.
Fentanyl remains the deadliest drug threat facing the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 107,622 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, and 66 percent of the deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
Drug poisonings are also the leading killer of Americans between 18 and 45 years of age. Fentanyl that is available in the United States is primarily supplied by two criminal drug networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
On April 20, 2023, the Dallas Morning News reported that four men were arrested in Cedar Hill following a multi-agency drug bust. Officers from Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and Midlothian police departments executed a search warrant at a home in the 400 block of Kimmel Drive and found more than 140 pounds of marijuana, nine guns, and $42,000 in cash.
The men arrested were identified as being two 21-year-olds and two 22-year-olds. One man is facing multiple marijuana possession charges and a charge for marijuana delivery while the other three each faced one count of possession of 5-50 pounds of marijuana and one count of unlawful carrying of a weapon.
The men were being held in the Dallas County Jail. DeSoto police Chief Joseph Costa said in a written statement that the drug bust was a success because it “took a significant amount of drugs and guns off the streets.”
He also thanked the other police departments involved in the operation. The drug bust is a reminder of the ongoing problem of drug trafficking in the Dallas area.
In recent years, law enforcement agencies have made a number of high-profile drug busts, but the problem persists.
In February 2023, the Dallas Observer reported that two men were arrested in recent weeks on fentanyl-related drug charges in Dallas and Fort Worth. In Dallas, Richard Daniel Gomez was arrested on January 26 for possession and intent to distribute fentanyl.
Gomez allegedly acted as a courier for a $15,000 cash transaction consisting of 6,000 “blues” believed to be illicitly manufactured drugs, possibly oxycodone, laced with fentanyl. In Fort Worth, Leeroy Marquee Jones and Christopher Antwuan George were arrested on January 19 for possession of 500 grams of suspected fentanyl, 400 grams of suspected methamphetamine, firearms, and “a large amount of U.S. currency.”
These arrests are part of a larger trend of increasing fentanyl use and trafficking in North Texas. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it often has a tendency to be mixed with other drugs, like heroin or cocaine, without a user’s knowledge.
This can lead to fatal overdoses. In response to the growing problem of fentanyl, state Senator Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) proposed a bill that would legalize the use of fentanyl test strips.
These strips are designed to help drug users determine if fentanyl has been mixed with their drugs. They are currently classified as drug paraphernalia under state law, making them illegal.
Johnson’s bill has the support of Gov. Greg Abbott, and it is currently being considered by the Texas Legislature. If passed, the bill would help to save lives by providing drug users with a way to test their drugs for fentanyl.
In addition to legalizing fentanyl test strips, there are a number of other things that can be done to address the problem of fentanyl-related deaths. These include increasing public awareness about the dangers of fentanyl, expanding access to treatment for opioid addiction, and cracking down on drug traffickers.
The recent arrests in Dallas and Fort Worth are a reminder of the serious dangers of fentanyl. By taking action to address this problem, we can save lives and make our communities safer.
Possible Criminal Charges Associated with Drugs
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is often used as a pain medication. It is also a major contributor to the opioid crisis in the United States.
In Texas, the possession of fentanyl is a serious offense. The penalties for possession of fentanyl can vary depending on the amount of fentanyl possessed.
- Less than 1 gram — State jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 1 gram to 4 grams — Second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 4 grams to 200 grams — First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 200 grams to 400 grams — Life felony punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
- More than 400 grams — Life felony punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Here are some of the defenses that an attorney may be able to raise in a fentanyl possession case:
- The drugs were not yours.
- You did not know that the drugs were fentanyl.
- You were prescribed the drugs for a legitimate medical purpose.
- You were in the process of disposing of the drugs when you were arrested.
If you are convicted of possession of fentanyl, you may be eligible for drug treatment programs. Drug treatment can help you to overcome your addiction and reduce your risk of re-offending.
The opioid crisis is a serious problem in Texas. If you have been charged with possession of fentanyl, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you to protect your rights and get the best possible outcome in your case.
Aggressive Drug Crime Defense in Dallas, TX
If you are facing any kind of drug charges in the greater Dallas area, do not wait to retain legal counsel. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has handled many different kinds of drug cases all over Texas and knows how to fight these kinds of criminal charges to help people achieve the most favorable outcomes to their criminal cases.