Failing to report 90.9 kilos of cocaine nets woman a fine, prison

Maria Betancourt Castillo
Maria Betancourt Castillo

A woman’s failure to report she was traveling with a truck driver hauling 90.9 kilos of cocaine has netted her a $5,000 fine and 18 months in prison.

Maria Betancourt Castillo, 46, faced prosecution on multiple felonies in Gulfport but accepted a plea deal on a charge of misprision of felony. The charge means knowing a crime is being committed but failing to report it.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced the Texas woman Thursday. He also ordered one year of probation after her release.

Castillo and Jose Gilberto Granados, 43, were in a tractor-trailer June 29 when a Harrison County deputy pulled them over on Interstate 10. The cocaine was hidden in a modified passenger-side fuel tank.

The amount of cocaine seized is the equivalent of 200.4 pounds.

Granados told a drug task-force agent he would have been paid $64,000 when he delivered the cocaine, a court paper said. He admitted he was smuggling cocaine across the border and was bound for North Carolina.

Granados is held for sentencing on a conspiracy charge. He faces 10 years to life in prison.

Granados also is held for a hearing to revoke his probation. He was on probation for a federal drug conviction in McAllen, Texas, where he was involved in the distribution of 34.2 kilos of cocaine in 2010, records show.