Crime

He left Texas after Harvey with his wife, baby and 7 kilos of cocaine, affidavit says

Rodolfo Ortuno
Rodolfo Ortuno

A Houston man left the city with his wife, infant son and seven kilos of cocaine, but their trip was interrupted on Interstate 10 in Hancock County, a court document says.

The Hyundai Sonota that Rodolfo Ortuno was driving about 11 p.m. Aug. 24 had seven bundles, or 15.4 pounds, of cocaine in the trunk near the back seats where his baby boy was traveling, a DEA Task Force agent said in an affidavit.

A federal magistrate in Gulfport denied bond for Ortuno, 25, on Wednesday.

A deputy had pulled over the eastbound car at the 4 mile marker just past the Mississippi Welcome Center. The deputy reported he stopped Ortuno for careless driving because he had been crossing the fog line, a DEA Task Force agent wrote in an affidavit.

The car had an expired temporary tag that was registered to a different vehicle, the agent said. Ortuno had a Texas identification card and said his driver’s license had been suspended, and allegedly claimed he and his family were going to a friend’s wedding in Atlanta, but he didn’t name the friend or the venue.

During questioning, he reportedly admitted there was cocaine in the vehicle. A K-9 went around the vehicle and alerted to the trunk area, the agent wrote.

Ortuno allegedly said he would have been paid $7,000 to drive the vehicle to Atlanta. Ortuno had left Houston after flooding from Hurricane Harvey began to swamp areas of the city.

Ortuno also is under investigation for a May 10 traffic stop in Hancock County. He was driving a Ford F-150 with a large, unspecified amount of money found in a modified compartment in the floor board, the affidavit said. Ortuno reportedly said he was being paid to take the money from Houston to Miami.

He apparently was not arrested at that time. The affidavit didn’t say if the money was seized.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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