Crime

Highway from Georgia to Texas ends in Gulfport for two drug couriers

Jandiel Omar Viera-Orellano, left, and Carlos Anibal Gonzalez
Jandiel Omar Viera-Orellano, left, and Carlos Anibal Gonzalez

Two men who were on a trip from Georgia to see a relative in Texas have admitted they were delivering more than 10 kilos, or 22 pounds of meth, when they were stopped in Gulfport.

The two pleaded guilty in federal court on July 26, 2017.

Carlos Anibal Gonzalez, 25, and Jandiel Omar Viera-Orellano, 23, have been held for federal marshals since their arrests in a traffic stop on Nov. 22, 2016.

Both will be sentenced Oct 24 on guilty pleas to interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprises. A federal grand jury had indicted each of them Dec. 7, 2016, on additional charges of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute meth.

A Harrison County deputy had stopped a westbound 2006 Chrysler Pacifica with a Georgia license plate on Interstate 10 near Canal Road in November. The driver was speeding and traveling too closely to adjacent traffic, a DEA Task Force agent said in an affidavit.

Gonzalez, the driver, showed a military identification card with his license, the agent said. What branch of service the ID card showed is unclear.

The deputy reported he smelled marijuana, and said Viera-Orellano claimed he had just smoked pot and had borrowed the minivan from its owner. Viera-Orellano had been arrested on drug charges, which the deputy said prompted him to search the vehicle.

The deputy found a 9mm handgun in the minivan and meth hidden in the rear quarter panels of the vehicle, the agent said. The vehicle was dismantled at the Harrison County Sheriff’s Work Center.

The men had each faced 10 years to life if found guilty of distributing meth.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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