Man sentenced to 8 years for trafficking carfentanil
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A man convicted last year of trafficking a drug used to tranquilize animals has been sentenced to eight years in prison, a federal prosecutor said.
Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Perez, 54, also was sentenced on Wednesday to three years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute carfentanil and aiding and abetting, said U.S. Attorney Dena J. King in a news release. He pleaded guilty in November.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, carfentanil is a synthetic opioid generally used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals. It’s approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl, the news release said.
Officials said the presence of carfentanil in illegal U.S. drug markets causes concern because its strength can lead to increased overdoses and overdose-related deaths, and threatens those who may come in contact with it through accidental exposure.
Court documents and courtroom statements show that on May 1, 2020, law enforcement in Gaston County stopped a car Gonzalez-Perez was driving and found more than two kilograms of carfentanil hidden in a shoebox. Court records show that Gonzalez-Perez had gone to Atlanta to get the carfentanil and was heading to western North Carolina when he was stopped.