Crime

They were already deported. What was found in a Camaro adds to their problems.

Most of the cocaine brought in to the U.S. is produced in Columbia and enters the U.S. through Mexico, the DEA’s website says.
Most of the cocaine brought in to the U.S. is produced in Columbia and enters the U.S. through Mexico, the DEA’s website says. Drug Enforcement Administration, File

Two men who had been deported were bound for Gulfport when a traffic stop revealed 5.8 kilos of cocaine hidden in their car, a court paper said.

Francisco Sanchez Correa accepted a plea deal Friday on a charge of interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering enterprises. Correa admitted he had traveled from Texas to Harrison County for unlawful activity in the distribution of cocaine, court records show.

Correa was a passenger in a green and black Chevrolet Camaro driven by Leonel Chavez Vargas on June 5 when a Harrison County deputy stopped the car on Interstate 10 in Pass Christian.

The Camaro was following too closely behind a tanker truck during inclement weather, according to the affidavit of a DEA Task Force agent.

Vargas told the deputy he had no driver’s license and no registration for the car because he was buying it from the owner, the agent said. He told the deputy they were coming to Gulfport to a friend’s house and were planning to play volleyball.

Correa agreed, and said they were going to stay at a hotel, the agent said.

The men had no luggage nor volleyball equipment, nothing to indicate they were on a vacation, the document said. But they had several phones, and cocaine hidden in the driver’s-side quarterpanel of the sports car, the agent said. They each gave a different name for the friend they planned to visit.

Vargas has an outstanding warrant in Houston on a firearm charge from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Both men are held with no bond.

An indictment filed June 21 charged both of them with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and the interstate travel charge.

Correa faces up to five years in prison at his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden on Nov. 20, court records show.

Vargas is set for trial on a court calendar that starts Sept. 5.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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