GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Florida man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Wednesday, more than two years after officers in Jackson County discovered him with more than $400,000 in drug money hidden in his van.
Inocensio Villarreal, 40, of Lantana, Florida was stopped on I-10 in Jackson County in June of 2013. Officers searched his van and discovered wrapped bundles of U.S. currency totaling $414,450.
Prosecutors said an investigation found Villarreal traveled on the interstate through Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi, knowingly broke the law when he helped smuggle cash for a drug trafficking organization.
Villarreal was sentenced by Chief U. S. District Judge Louis Guirola to 30 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for interstate travel in aid of an unlawful activity. U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis said Villarreal was also ordered to pay a $4,000 fine.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea Jones and Stan Harris.