Crime

What did officers find in his truck and wallet? Enough to file trafficking complaint

Juan Ignacio Gomez
Juan Ignacio Gomez

A man driving a big rig gave officers permission to search his trailer but not his truck, which is where they found 14.2 kilos, or about 31 pounds of cocaine, a court document says.

A South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team officer had conducted a careless driving stop on a blue semi towing a white trailer Thursday on Interstate 10 in Jackson County.

Juan Ignacia Gomez, 36, agreed to let the officer review his logbook, and said he’d stopped in Louisiana to rest, an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. Gomez’s log book showed a gap in entries between July 1 and July 4, for which Gomez said he had stopped for repairs to his air-conditioner.

A background check showed five different vehicles registered to Gomez had crossed the Mexican border nine times in the past six months, the latest trip on the Fourth of July, the agent wrote.

According to the affidavit, when agents asked Gomez asked about his trips to Mexico, he said, “Oh, I don’t go into Mexico. It’s too dangerous.”

But what about the July 4 border crossing? Gomez allegedly said he had taken his daughter to see a dermatologist in Mexico, but said he didn’t know the doctor’s name.

A drug-sniffing K-9 found a suspicious substance on the driver’s side of the truck, the agent wrote. Officers found 12 packages of a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine, the agent said.

Agents temporarily left Gomez in an interview room, unaware he was still being videotaped. He reportedly took a folded bill from his wallet and waved it in the air several times. Agents took his wallet and confirmed a white powdery residue was in it.

Gomez is held on suspicion of a drug trafficking offense punishable by 10 or more years in prison.

His use of aliases or false documents, the weight of the evidence and lack of community ties are among reasons U.S. Magistrate Robert H. Walker denied bond Monday, the detention order shows.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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