A man arrested in a Gulfport traffic stop has admitted it interrupted his cross-country drive with 15.7 kilos of cocaine.
Alexander Montano, 39, had crossed the Mexican border at the Laredo International Bridge the day before a Gulfport police officer pulled him over on Feb. 1, court papers show.
Montano, also known as Montano-Morejon, faced trial on a three-count indictment in U.S. District Court. He pleaded guilty Monday to interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering enterprises.
He faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of probation at his Jan. 27 sentencing.
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The estimated street value of 15.7 kilos of cocaine, or 34.6 pounds, could easily be tens of thousands of dollars.
Montano was eastbound when an officer pulled him over on Interstate 10 near Mile Marker 36, a DEA Task Force agent said in an affidavit.
He had a driver’s license with a Lakeland, Florida, address and was driving a 2008 Buick Enclave with a Texas tag registered to a Laredo man.
Further investigation revealed he also had taken I-10 through Mississippi to enter Mexico two days before his arrest and had driven the same route four other times and at the same time of day.
Montano also had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border 18 times in the past year and had made one trip to Cuba, the affidavit said.
He faced trial on a three-count indictment with charges punishable by 10 or more years in prison.