A drug courier found with 15.7 kilos of cocaine in a Gulfport traffic stop has been sentenced to prison for five years and fined $5,000.
Alexander Montano, 38, received the maximum penalty for the crime on Friday, court records show.
The amount of cocaine is 34.6 pounds, easily worth tens of thousands of dollars.
U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced Montano on a guilty plea to interstate travel in aid of drug racketeering enterprises. Ozerden also ordered three years of probation.
Montano, also known as Alexander Montano-Morejon, was arrested Feb. 1 by a Gulfport police officer assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. Montano was eastbound on Interstate 10 near mile-marker 36.
He is from Cuba, had a Lakeland, Florida, driver’s license, and was driving a 2008 Buick Escalade registered to someone else, a court paper said.
The cocaine was found in a hidden compartment of the SUV.
Montano had passed through Mississippi a few days earlier and had left Mexico via the Laredo International Bridge in Laredo, Texas, before he was stopped in Gulfport, an affidavit said. He had crossed the border four other times in the same area and at the same time of day, a document said.