Juan Antonio “Tony” Gonzalez
First Assistant US Attorney, South District of Florida
Mr. Gonzalez received his BA in Psychology from the University of Miami in 1988 and his JD from the University of Miami School of Law in 1991. At the age of 23, Mr. Gonzalez became the youngest prosecutors hired by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. Mr. Gonzalez spent most of his seven years in the State Attorney’s Office in the Racketeering/Organized Crime and Public Corruption Unit where he specialized in long-term, wiretap investigations of corrupt police officers and organized crime figures. In that unit, Mr. Gonzalez spent four years as a cross-designated Special Assistant US Attorney (SAUSA) for the Southern District of Florida. As a SAUSA, Mr. Gonzalez successfully tried a number of organized crime cases in federal court.
In 1998, Mr. Gonzalez was hired by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida as an Assistant United States Attorney. After a short time in the Appellate Section, Mr. Gonzalez joined the then Narcotics Section. In 1999, Mr. Gonzalez was assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force. From 2002 to 2009, Mr. Gonzalez served as Deputy Chief of Narcotics in charge of HIDTA. In 2009, Mr. Gonzalez assumed the position of HIDTA Operations Coordinator for both the Miami-Dade and Broward County HIDTA Units. In 2011, Mr. Gonzalez took the dual roles of HIDTA Operations Coordinator and Deputy Chief of Narcotics in charge of HIDTA. In 2019, Mr. Gonzalez became the First Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida where he oversees the third largest US Attorney’s Office in the nation with over 275 attorneys. Mr. Gonzalez maintains the role of HIDTA Operations Coordinator.
Since 2002, Mr. Gonzalez has continually represented the USAO on the HIDTA Executive Committee. He has served three times as chairman and three times as vice-chairman of the Committee.
Throughout his tenure in the Office, Mr. Gonzalez has investigated and tried many complex, high-profile cases. In 2000, Mr. Gonzalez received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an AUSA for his prosecution of United States v. Bordon, et al., a complex, organized crime, money laundering case culminating in a two-week trial. In 2007, Mr. Gonzalez received the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation for his prosecution of United States v. Battle, et al, a 6 1/2-month, multi-defendant RICO conspiracy trial involving numerous murders, arsons, and acts of illegal gambling, money laundering and narcotics trafficking. In that case, the jury found the defendants guilty of eight murders and seven arsons resulting in deaths and returned a forfeiture verdict of $1.4 billion. Mr. Gonzalez’ decade-long investigation and prosecution of this crime syndicate is detailed in the T. J. English true-crime novel, The Corporation, An Epic Story of the Cuban-American Underworld.
Mr. Gonzalez was also selected by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Drug Czar) as the 2011 National HIDTA Prosecutor of the Year. In 2012 Mr. Gonzalez received a second Director’s Award for his prosecution of United States v. Solorzano et al., a complex international money laundering investigation involving the Venezuelan parallel market. In 2015, the National Association of Former United States Attorneys recognized Mr. Gonzalez with its Exceptional Service Award. Mr. Gonzalez has also received three Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) awards and numerous other awards and commendations from the DEA, FBI, IRS, DHS and Secret Service including the IRS’s highest honor (Honorary IRS/CID Special Agent) and DHS’s Investigative Excellence Award.
More recently, after a seven-week trial, Mr. Gonzalez secured the money laundering conviction and 150-year sentence of Spanish drug lord Alvaro Lopez Tardon. Mr. Gonzalez also participated in the investigation and ultimate guilty plea of Luis Gustavo Moreno Rivera, the Colombian Attorney General’s Director of Anticorruption; was part of the prosecution team obtaining convictions in the billion-dollar NTR/Elemetals gold money laundering prosecutions; and was the lead prosecutor securing the conviction of French national Gal Vallerius a.k.a.Oxymonster, the senior moderator of the Dark Web drug marketplace Dream Market.
Mr. Gonzalez serves as a faculty member at the National Advocacy Center lecturing at the Basic Trial Advocacy, Basic and Advanced Narcotics, Basic and Advanced Money Laundering, and Federal Sentencing Guidelines Seminars. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and frequently lectures domestically and abroad in the areas of international money laundering, narcotics trafficking and trans-national organized crime.