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Press Release

Texas Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi


Gulfport, Miss – Rodolfo Ortuno, 26, of Houston, Texas, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam.

On August 24, 2017, a Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a vehicle driven by Ortuno for a traffic infraction. Upon making contact with Ortuno, the deputy recognized him from a previous stop in May, 2017. During the subsequent stop, the deputy located a large amount of U.S. currency from the vehicle driven by Ortuno. Thus, due to his previous experience with Ortuno and Ortuno’s nervous behavior, the deputy asked for consent to search. Ortuno provided consent to search the vehicle. During the search, the deputy located seven bundles wrapped in cellophane in a modified compartment. In total, Ortuno was traveling with 7,015 grams of cocaine.

Ortuno will be sentenced on April 25, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. by Judge Guirola, and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine.

The case was investigated by DEA Task Force Officer Howard O’Gwin and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathlyn R. Van Buskirk.

Updated January 26, 2018