JACKSON COUNTY -- A federal complaint has been lodged against a Texas man accused of smuggling thousands of dollars from Georgia to Mexico, according to U.S. District Court records.
A Jackson County sheriff’s deputy stopped Gilbert Cuello III on Oct. 6 in a 1995 GMC Yukon in the westbound lane of Interstate 10, for a seat-belt violation.
Cuello and his wife said they were returning home to Brownsville, Texas, after a trip to Columbus, Ga. They claimed, records show, they’d been to Georgia to help out an uncle, but when the officer asked the couple the uncle’s name, the husband and wife provided different names, prompting the arresting officer, Deputy Patrick Brandle, to ask to search their vehicle.
Inside, the deputy found bundles of cash wrapped in plastic and stuffed into the vehicle’s console. After a more thorough search, the deputy later found a lead-lined stereo speaker that contained additional bundles of cash wrapped in plastic. The two, who were traveling with their child, later went to talk to FBI investigators in Pascagoula.
After questioning and another vehicle search, records show, authorities found a total of $109,131 in cash Cuello admitted he planned to smuggle into Mexico for a man he knew only as “Coyote.”
Cuello told authorities he was being paid up to $4,000 to take the cash from points in Georgia or Florida to Mexico. He said the trip in October 2011 was the third such trip he’d made across the border with cash, with both of the cash pickups for the prior hauls originating out of Columbus, Ga., or Homestead, Fla.
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