California man sentenced to prison for trafficking cocaine and money laundering


Date: December 1, 2020


Boston – A California man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Worcester for his role in a conspiracy to traffic drugs from California to Western Massachusetts and launder the proceeds, announced Joleen Simpson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation.

Victor Hugo Gonzalez of Perris, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 76 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In July 2020, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

On July 26, 2016, as part of a Mexican drug trafficking organization (DTO), Gonzalez traveled from California to Western Massachusetts to oversee the arrival of 11 kilograms of cocaine and the subsequent laundering of the sale proceeds back to the DTO. On August 2, 2016, in West Springfield, Gonzalez and a co-conspirator removed 11 kilograms of cocaine from a vehicle, which had arrived by car carrier from California, and transferred the cocaine into the co-conspirator's apartment. These kilograms were subsequently broken down, repackaged, and distributed. On August 6 and 8, 2016, Gonzalez made multiple structured cash deposits at banks in Hartford and Bloomfield, Conn., thus laundering the proceeds of the drug transactions into multiple bank accounts held by individuals in California.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Desroches, Catherine Curley and Steven H. Breslow of Lelling's Springfield Office prosecuted the case.

IRS Criminal Investigation assisted the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in the investigation. The Oklahoma State Attorney General's Office and Tulsa Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel-lyn A. McCormick prosecuted the case. AUSA McCormick is the Lead Attorney for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force for the Northern District of Oklahoma.