AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRBL) – An armed drug trafficker was sentenced to federal prison after confessing to selling enormous quantities of drugs and owning several firearms to aid in drug trafficking-related crimes.

Jose Ramone Valero Jr., 24, of Stonecrest, Georgia, received 84 months in prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, announced U.S. Attorney David H. Estes.

In addition to Valero’s prison sentence, District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall also ordered Valero to serve three years of supervised release.

Estes shares that law enforcement and other governmental agencies will continue to work and remove criminals who exacerbate violent crime in Georgia communities.

“Illegal drugs and illegally possessed firearms are the combustible fuel that drives violent crime in far too many of our communities,” said Estes. “We will be relentless in removing dangerous criminals like Valero from our neighborhoods.”

Valero, a previous resident of Grovetown and Augusta, Georgia, is prohibited from owning firearms after being convicted of domestic violence, a misdemeanor crime.

In 2019 and 2020, during state arrests, authorities discovered multiple drugs and firearms in Valero’s possession. While out on bond for state charges in 2021, Valero was charged in a superseding federal indictment and pled guilty to two felony charges in January 2022. Valero’s plea included forfeiting 11 firearms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office; and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigated Valero’s case. Assistant U.S. Attorney and Criminal Division Chief Patricia G. Rhodes prosecuted the case for the United States.