Carfentanil Trafficker Is Sentenced To More Than Nine Years In Prison

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Perez, a/k/a Fernando Contreras Gonzalez, 54, of Mexico, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison and three years of supervised release for trafficking carfentanil, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office, and Chief Joseph D. Ramey of the Gaston County Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to the DEA, carfentanil is a synthetic opioid generally used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals. Carfentanil is approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. The presence of carfentanil in illicit U.S. drug markets is cause for grave concern, as the relative strength of this drug can lead to increased overdoses and overdose-related deaths. Carfentanil also poses a significant threat to everyone who may come in contact with this substance due to accidental exposure, including first responders and law enforcement personnel.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 1, 2020, law enforcement in Gaston County conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle Gonzalez-Perez was driving. Over the course of the traffic stop, law enforcement found more than two kilograms of carfentanil hidden in a shoebox inside the vehicle. The approximate street value of the carfentanil seized is $175,000. Court records show that Gonzalez-Perez had traveled to Atlanta to obtain the carfentantil and was headed back to Western North Carolina when he was intercepted by law enforcement.

On November 16, 2021, Gonzalez-Perez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute carfentanil and aiding and abetting.

The DEA and the Gaston County Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor G. Stout of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in         Charlotte prosecuted the case.