Drug shrine in suspect's home (DEA)
Drug shrine in suspect's home (DEA)

Ten years in a Federal prison awaits a Kennewick man who was sentenced this week.

  Man accused of possession, sale of meth

An investigation began in 2021 after Aurelio James Gonzalez, 30, of Kennewick, was identified as what the DEA called a "pound-level" meth trafficker in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas. Pound-level indicates he was a mover of large amounts of drugs, not just ounces or small amounts.

Using undercover agents, the DEA and Feds set up and recorded several buys from Gonzales, then executed a search warrant in his home. Agents found (according to the US Attorney's Office-Eastern WA):

"...cocaine, a digital scale, $14,805 in U.S. currency, ledgers about how to engage in money laundering, and a total of three firearms."

Also found in his home was a "Santa Muerte" Shrine, which Feds say is often associated with drug traffickers.

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Federal officials also say Gonzales, who ran the drugs out of his home where he lived with this "significant other" and two small children, took at least one of the youth with him during one of the meet-ups with undercover agents where drugs were present.

He originally plead guilty last October, his ten-year sentence will begin shortly.

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