GULFPORT -- A federal grand jury has indicted two parents accused of travelling east from Texas with 15.9 kilos of cocaine and their two children.
Ramiro Hernandez, 36, and Judith Noriega Hernandez, 32, are held without bond pending trial on a three-count indictment filed April 5.
Both pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
They are set for trial on a court calendar that starts May 9.
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Their children were taken into protective custody after the couple's arrests March 19.
The family was on Interstate 10 near Pascagoula in a Chevrolet Suburban 1500 when a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer stopped the SUV. The state trooper reported he saw two children unrestrained in the back seat. The cocaine was found in the SUV's overhead liner, an affidavit said.
The husband was on probation on a federal conviction for distributing 207 kilos of marijuana and also had been convicted of distributing meth, a detention order said.