Drug dealer who bribed DEA agent gets 11+ years in prison

Aug 16, 2022, 9:53 AM | Updated: 9:58 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A convicted California drug trafficker who paid bribes to a corrupt Drug Enforcement Administration agent has been sentenced by a Florida judge to more than 11 years in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg said in a news release Tuesday that a judge in Jacksonville, Florida, imposed the sentence on Francisco Gonzalez Benitez, 37, of Orange, California. Gonzalez Benitez pleaded guilty to drug and money laundering charges in April.

Court documents show Gonzalez Benitez admitted shipping large quantities of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine from California to Jacksonville and Little Rock, Arkansas, between 2016 and 2019.

Prosecutors say Gonzalez Benitez also had worked as an informant for DEA Agent Nathan Koen and paid the agent thousands of dollars in bribes to help provide “top cover protection” for the drug operation.

For example, investigators say Koen told the drug dealer when to avoid shipments in the mail, when to change his phone number and whether law enforcement was looking into him or his customers.

Koen pleaded guilty in Arkansas federal court in August 2021 to a bribery charge and was sentenced in May to 11 years and three months behind bars — the same sentence as Gonzalez Benitez. A brother of Gonzalez Benitez also pleaded guilty to drug and other charges and received a 10-year prison sentence.

The FBI began investigating Koen in 2018. He transferred from Jacksonville to Little Rock in 2016.

The drug trafficker had paid Koen $31,500 before he began cooperating with the FBI, prosecutors said. Koen was arrested after prosecutors said the FBI recorded him accepting a $9,000 bribe from the trafficker inside a Las Vegas casino.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Electronic signage at an Optus telecommunications retail store is seen at the central business dist...
Associated Press

Australia updates law to protect data after Optus hack

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government announced changes Thursday to its telecommunications law to protect vulnerable customers after personal details were stolen in a major cyberattack on the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier. The changes to Telecommunications Regulations allow Optus and other providers to better coordinate with financial institutions and governments to detect and mitigate […]
21 hours ago
FILE - The recently closed Savannah Medical Clinic, which provided abortions for four decades in Sa...
Associated Press

At least 66 US clinics have halted abortions, institute says

At least 66 clinics in 15 states have stopped providing abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to an analysis released Thursday. The number of clinics providing abortions in the 15 states dropped from 79 before the June 24 decision to 13 as of Oct. 2, according to the Guttmacher Institute, […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: October 6, the launch of Instagram

Today in History Today is Thursday, Oct. 6, the 279th day of 2022. There are 86 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Oct. 6, 1973, war erupted in the Middle East as Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel during the Yom Kippur holiday. (Israel, initially caught off guard, […]
21 hours ago
The ski slopes are almost devoid of snow at the Tūroa ski field, on Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand on Se...
Associated Press

Missing snow puts famed New Zealand ski areas on precipice

TUROA SKI AREA, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s Turoa ski area is usually a white wonderland at this time of year, its deep snowpack supporting its famed spring skiing. This season, it’s largely a barren moonscape, with tiny patches of snow poking out between vast fields of jagged volcanic boulders. The ski area was […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Former Uber security chief guilty of data breach coverup

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The former chief security officer for Uber was convicted Wednesday of trying to cover up a 2016 data breach in which hackers accessed tens of millions of customer records from the ride-hailing service. A federal jury in San Francisco convicted Joseph Sullivan of obstructing justice and concealing knowledge that a federal […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Herschel Walker, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate for Georgia, speaks at a primary watch...
Associated Press

Report: Mom of Walker’s child says he paid for her abortion

ATLANTA (AP) — A woman who said Herschel Walker paid for her 2009 abortion is the mother of one of his children, according to a new report Wednesday, undercutting the Georgia Republican Senate candidate’s claims that he didn’t know who she was. The Daily Beast, which first reported Monday on the abortion, said it had […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Drug dealer who bribed DEA agent gets 11+ years in prison