Texas Resident Arrested by FBI After Joint FBI Task Force Investigation Uncovers $1 Million Hidden in Vehicle
A Texas resident was arrested in Pascagoula after law enforcement officers discovered money hidden in secret compartments in a vehicle he was towing. On September 4, 2014, South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team members stopped Luis Miguel Aguilar Gutierrez, who was traveling west bound on Interstate 10 in Moss Point, Mississippi. Task force officers found $1,072,500 secreted within the towed car during a search of the vehicles. FBI special agents charged Luis Miguel Aguilar Gutierrez, age 28, of Brownsville, Texas, with Interstate Transportation in Aid of Racketeering (ITAR) and Conducting an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business Transporting Funds Intended to Support Unlawful Activity. Aguilar appeared in United States District Court before United States Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker on Friday in Gulfport to answer the charges and was ordered held without bond.
“Cooperation among all law enforcement agencies is key to keeping our Mississippi communities safer,” said Johnnie Sharp, acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “Cases like this prove that teamwork can make a difference.”
If convicted, Aguilar faces penalties of up to five years’ incarceration in federal prison on each charge.
This arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force in Pascagoula, Mississippi; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations; and the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team. The FBI Safe Streets Task Force is a Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative and receives funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington, D.C. It is made up of special agents from the FBI and law enforcement officers from the Pascagoula, Moss Point, Gautier Police Departments, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.