CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A California man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to delivering almost 200 pounds of meth to Bluefield, West Virginia while being a part of a drug trafficking organization busted through “Operation Smoke and Mirrors.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Ildiberto Gonzalez Jr., 29, of San Bernadino, California – which is about 60 miles east of Los Angeles – delivered 196 pounds of meth and four kilograms – about nine pounds – of cocaine to a person set up to receive the drugs in Bluefield in exchange for around $400,000 in a box.
On his way back to California following the transaction, law enforcement pulled Gonzalez over and took his phone and a loaded pistol in the truck’s cab. While being pulled over, Gonzalez called the person who set up the transaction in Bluefield.
Gonzolez is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 4, 2024, and could spend up to 20 years in prison, as well as a lifetime of supervised release and a $1 million fine, according to the DOJ.
He was arrested as a part of Operation Smoke and Mirrors, which was a major drug trafficking investigation that resulted in the largest seizure of meth in West Virginia history. A total of 32 individuals have been indicted as a result of the operation, and law enforcement agencies have seized more than 400 lbs of meth, 40 lbs of cocaine, three lbs of fentanyl, 19 firearms, and $935,000 in cash.
The DOJ said another person also pleaded guilty on Tuesday to his role in a drug trafficking operation busted through Operation Smoke and Mirrors. Keith Goode-Harper, 32, of Charleston, arranged a drug deal over the phone, which led to his arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8, 2024, and faces up to four years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, according to the DOJ.