Crime

Affidavit: Parents had 15.9 kilos of cocaine in SUV with kids

Ramiro Hernandez
Ramiro Hernandez

GULFPORT -- Parents accused of traveling Interstate 10 with 15.9 kilos of cocaine and their two children unrestrained have been denied bond pending a federal grand jury's review.

Ramiro Hernandez, 36, was on probation after serving time for trafficking 207 kilos of marijuana.

Judith Noriega, 32, allegedly denied knowing about the cocaine found in the couple's SUV; her husband said the cocaine was hers, court documents show.

Both have been in custody since their March 19 arrests in Jackson County.

The state Department of Human Services took their children into protective custody.

Hernandez and Noriega were arrested on suspicion of drug-trafficking after a state trooper noticed the children were unrestrained in the backseat, according to the affidavit of a state trooper assigned to a DEA Task Force.

Here's what happened, according to the affidavit:

A state trooper stopped an eastbound Chevrolet Suburban 1500 near the Gautier-Vancleave exit. Noriega showed a Texas identification card and had an expired license. Her husband had a Texas driver's license and the SUV was registered in his name.

The couple appeared nervous, the affidavit said. The trooper asked to search the SUV and called in a Pascagoula police K-9 team. The dog alerted and the officer noticed the headliner appeared to have been opened and screwed back in place.

The officer found a heavily wrapped package. He cut a small hole in it and white powder came out.

The couple said they'd bought the SUV off eBay.

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