In a significant development in the Carrollton juvenile fentanyl case that has claimed the lives of four teenagers and caused at least 14 juvenile overdoses, 18-year-old Julio Gonzales, Jr. pleaded guilty today to a federal drug crime. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Leigha Simonton.
Gonzales was initially charged via a criminal complaint in July 2023 with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and subsequently indicted in August 2023. Today, he admitted to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez.
According to plea documents, Gonzales confessed to receiving and selling approximately 120,000 counterfeit M30 pills containing fentanyl to multiple customers, including co-defendants and at least one juvenile M30 dealer. He distributed M30 pills individually and also sold customers "K Packs," which comprised 1,000 pills at a time.
Court records revealed that in February 2023, a 16-year-old dealer who delivered the fentanyl pills responsible for the death of a 14-year-old girl in December 2022 had identified Gonzales as his supplier, referring to him as "J-Money" in text messages. Gonzales was termed their "plug," a street term for a source of supply.
During a search of the residence used for storing and distributing illegal drugs, including counterfeit M30 pills, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with the Dallas Police Department's SWAT team and the Carrollton Police Department, discovered thousands of fentanyl-laced M-30 pills stashed in a microwave, a partial kilogram of cocaine concealed in a plastic food storage container, bulk U.S. currency hidden in a closet, and numerous firearms, including a pistol equipped with an illegal Glock switch, scattered throughout the home.
Gonzales is the eighth defendant implicated in the Carrollton/Flower Mound juvenile overdose investigation to enter a guilty plea. Earlier this year, Jason Xavier Villanueva, Magaly Cano, Robert Alexander Gaitan, Rafael Soliz, Jr., Adrian Martinez-Leon, Donovan Jude Andrews, and Stephen Paul Brinson had also pleaded guilty in connection to the case. Co-defendant Luis Eduardo Navarrete has been charged but has not yet been convicted. (All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.)
Julio Gonzales, Jr. now faces the possibility of up to 40 years in federal prison. This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration's Dallas Field Office, the Dallas Police Department's SWAT team, and the Carrollton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Calvert and Phelesa Guy are prosecuting the case.