Officials question a trucker’s paperwork, end up with guilty plea

Jose Gilberto Granados
Jose Gilberto Granados

A truck driver found hauling 90.9 kilos of cocaine on Interstate 10 in Harrison County has accepted a plea deal and now faces 10 years to life in prison.

Jose Gilberto Granados, 43, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court. Judge Sul Ozerden will sentence him Jan. 27. Granados also faces a fine of up to $1 million and five years of supervised release.

Granados was driving a tractor-trailer with a Texas license place when a Harrison County deputy sheriff pulled him over June 29. Granados was on probation for a drug conviction. Also, a Mississippi Department of Transportation officer found inconsistencies in the driver's log book and an altered bill of lading, a legal document used in the shipping process.

Granados told a drug task force agent he would have been paid $64,000 when he delivered the cocaine, a court paper said.

The end of a passenger-side fuel tank had been modified to hold the cocaine. The amount of cocaine is the equivalent of 200.4 pounds.

Granados’ traveling companion, Maria Betancourt Castillo, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of knowing a crime was being committed but failing to report it. She faces up to three years in prison at her sentencing Jan. 12.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews