Atlanta Woman Who Checked Son Out Of High School For Chattanooga Drug Deal Gets 10 Years, 1 Month

Thursday, November 21, 2013

An Atlanta woman who checked her son out of high school to come to Chattanooga to interpret for her on a major drug deal was sentenced Thursday to serve 10 years and one month in federal prison.

Leticia Gonzalez was sentenced by Judge Curtis Collier, who said her punishment would have been much more harsh had she not cooperated with authorities. She testified when two co-defendants went to trial.

Ms. Gonzalez, 53, is also due to face deportation when she finishes her sentence.

A DEA agent said Ms. Gonzalez did not know she was dealing with an undercover agent in drug negotiations at Cracker Barrels at East Ridge and Lookout Valley. When she was arrested she had $75,000 in cash for a large cocaine purchase. Judge Collier said that was "more money than most people make in a year."

In another planned drug deal, she was discussing the purchase of $250,000 in illegal drugs.

The agent said a raid at her home at Conyers, Ga., also turned up three kilos of pure meth in a shed. Her attorney, Hannah Stokes, said Ms. Gonzalez denies that the meth was hers. She said Ms. Gonzalez got into the drug activity because her older son was arrested for dealing in meth, leaving her with a large debt to drug lords. The agent acknowledged that he was shown texts threatening her.

A man at the house was described as a "mule" in the operation, who had made a number of trips to pick up drugs, including bringing back meth from Texas in tubular containers hidden with wicker furniture.

The agent said her younger son said he planned to go into the drug business also, and he was looking for a marijuana supplier.

Inside the Gonzalez home were two digital scales and an electronic money counter in addition to other evidence of drug activity. 

Judge Collier termed her "a pretty high-level drug trafficker."

   



City Council Approves Tax Abatement For Flats At Fifty Eight

The City Council on Tuesday night approved a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) tax break sought by Trent Development for a planned apartment complex on Highway 58. Opposed were Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell. The Flats at Fifty Eight is a project costing over $17 million across from Linda's Produce and just up from Central High School. Alex Trent said rents will range ... (click for more)

Carjacking Suspect At Lakesite Was Caught On Camera

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a reported carjacking which occurred on Monday, Feb. 13, in the Lakesite area of Hamilton County. Authorities said in the early morning hours, a white male approached the victim as he exited his car on the parking lot of a business.  The man told the victim that he needed his car, then he brandished a pistol.    ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)

MVP Howard Leads Bradley To Seventh Straight District 5-3A Tourney Title

Two key Bradley Central scoring sprees spelled basketball doom for East Hamilton in Monday’s District 5-3A tournament championship game at Soddy-Daisy. One, the top-ranked and unbeaten Bearettes (29-0) went on a 15-1 to close the second quarter, building a 37-20 halftime lead. Two, Bradley Central started the third period on a 22-6 run and extended the lead to 59-26 and ... (click for more)

Brainerd Girls, Howard Boys Win 6-AA Consolations

It was consolation night at Hixson High School for the District 6-AA basketball tournament and East Ridge came out on the short end in both games. Brainerd’s girls rallied for a 39-35 win in the first game while Howard’s Hustlin’ Tigers did enough at the end to hold off the East Ridge boys by a 61-57 final. The tournament concludes on Tuesday with both championship games. ... (click for more)