CASE UPDATE: AG Shapiro’s Kensington Initiative Secures First Guilty Plea

May 9, 2019 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that a Philadelphia man pleaded guilty to drug and firearm offenses as part of the first investigation of the Kensington Initiative. Douglas Gonzales pleaded guilty today to Conspiracy, Possession with Intent to Deliver, multiple violations of the Firearms Act, Possession of Narcotics, Paraphernalia, and Possessing an Instrument of a Crime.

Gonzales was arrested in August 2018 after agents conducted a search warrant on his house and confiscated an AR-15 assault rifle, a handgun, pieces of a handgun, a ballistic vest, ammunition, heroin, marijuana, and packaging materials for narcotics. He had previously been arrested for an earlier violation of the Firearms Act. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges that resulted from both of these arrests.

“The Kensington Initiative is designed to get criminals off the streets who are holding this neighborhood hostage by selling dangerous drugs and possessing illegal weapons,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “I’m grateful for the strong collaboration between law enforcement entities that led to the arrest and successful prosecution of this individual. I look forward to continuing to work together to keep the Kensington community safe.”

The guilty plea was entered before Judge Daniel McCaffery in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Melissa Francis. Sentencing was scheduled for July 18, 2019.

The Kensington Initiative is a collaboration among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target major criminal drug organizations in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. It is an intelligence-led partnership primarily between the Office of Attorney General and the FBI, with support from the Philadelphia Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, SEPTA Transit Police and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Counter Drug Aviation Unit. In February 2019, a Kensington Initiative operation resulted in the arrests of 11 individuals for operating a major drug organization that was distributing $7.7 million of heroin, fentanyl, and other drugs annually.

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