A man found traveling with drugs said he’d argued with his wife, gone drinking at a bar in Juarez, Mexico, and “just started driving,” a criminal complaint says.
Benjamin Falcon Aguirre told that to a state trooper who pulled him over on Interstate 10 at mile-marker 8 in Hancock County on Nov. 17, a Homeland Security Investigations agent said in a sworn statement.
He had crossed the Mexican border and traveled about 1,120 miles.
Aguirre, 56, is held for federal marshals on suspicion of trafficking 27.5 pounds of meth and 6.5 pounds of cocaine.
He was denied bond in a detention hearing Tuesday in federal court.
‘Had already been to California’
When he was pulled over by a state trooper from the Biloxi-based Troop K, Aguirre reportedly indicated he didn’t speak English so the state trooper called for a Border Patrol agent.
Aguirre told the Border Patrol agent “he had already been to California and wanted to go somewhere different,” and agreed to a search of the vehicle, the document says.
The drive shaft reportedly appeared to have been taken apart and welded back together on both ends.
Agents took his vehicle, which was registered in another person’s name, and dismantled the drive shaft at the Mississippi Highway Patrol complex in Biloxi. The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics assisted.
The drugs were found in each end of the drive shaft, the HSI agent said.
Wanted ‘to clear his head’
Aguirre then gave a statement saying a friend had offered to let him use his vehicle “to clear his head” after an argument with his wife, the agent said. Then he said he had agreed to drive it to Mobile, and would be paid $1,000 to exchange it for a different vehicle.
Aguirre reportedly said he was told to allow Customs and Border Protection to search the vehicle if he was stopped, and said he did not know narcotics were concealed in it.
According to the document, Aguirre said he’d argued with his wife Nov. 8, and he entered the U.S. in El Paso, Texas, on Nov. 16. He said he stopped to sleep at a hotel in San Antonio, and was heading to Mobile to wait for further instructions.
Aguirre faces charges punishable by 10 or more years in prison, and is subject to deportation after any prison time given if he’s convicted, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker wrote in a detention order.