A man who ran a drug ring in Riverside and San Bernardino counties that authorities said distributed large quantities of heroin was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison.
Salvador Gonzalez-Chavez, 32, of Fontana operated a trafficking network comprised of at least 19 people who brought illegal drugs from Mexico for sale throughout the Inland Empire, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Gonzalez-Chavez pleaded guilty in September to two counts of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine.
Riverside-based U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips today imposed the sentence called for under the plea agreement.
According to prosecutors, federal investigators busted up Gonzalez-Chavez’s trafficking operation in the fall of 2011. Gonzalez-Chavez’s activities came to the attention of authorities after they began looking into a series of heroin-related overdoses in Redlands and surrounding areas.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration became involved, assisting local agencies with monitoring Gonzalez-Chavez’s activities and amassing the evidence needed to charge him and his co-conspirators — some of whom are awaiting trial — with drug-related crimes.