A Marine found passing through Harrison County with a friend and 10 kilos, or 22 pounds of crystal meth, has received the maximum penalty for interstate travel in support of racketeering enterprises.
Carlos Anibal Gonzalez, 26, received a five-year prison term and three years of probation Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. also fined him $3,000. The judge sentenced Gonzalez on a plea agreement.
Gonzalez had shown his military identification card along with his license when a Harrison County deputy stopped him on Interstate 10 in Gulfport on Nov. 22, 2016, court papers show.
Gonzalez, the driver, was speeding and following too closely, a DEA Task Force agent said in an affidavit. Gonzalez also was driving a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica not registered to him or his passenger.
The men told the deputy they were driving from Georgia to Texas to see a relative in a vehicle they had borrowed. The deputy smelled marijuana in the vehicle and received permission to search the vehicle, the agent said.
The deputy found 20 one-pound packages of meth wrapped in brown tape and plastic hidden in the minivan.
Gonzalez and Jandiel Omar Viera-Orellano, 24, were indicted on several charges. Each pleaded guilty to the interstate travel charge Dec. 7, 2016.
Orellano is held for sentencing on Nov. 28.