Austin L. Miller Staff writer
Ocala Star-Banner
September 7, 2011 ET


A Texas man arrested in July after authorities reportedly found four kilograms of cocaine in a rental car he was driving through the county on Interstate 75 plans to surrender to federal officials this week, according to his attorney. Homero Morua, along with eight others, was recently indicted by a grand jury. A report from the U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida Jacksonville Division, dated Aug. 17, states that Morua and the others were indicted by a grand jury for distributing "five kilograms or more" of cocaine. On Wednesday, Orlando attorney Miguel A. Gonzalez Jr., who is representing Morua, said they are making arrangements for his client to turn himself over to government officials. Gonzalez said he has already talked with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Jacksonville, where the indictment was delivered, about the plan.


Once Morua is in custody, Gonzalez said, the next step is to have an arraignment and then see whether or not Morua will be held until trial or be released on bail. The attorney also said the proceedings will move to Marion County. Government officials said that if he is convicted, Morua faces anywhere from 10 years to life in federal prison and a $10 million fine. Here is how Morua came to be in Marion County:


On July 26, he was traveling through the area on I-75 with his stepchildren, ages 11 and 13, on their way to Disney World, when he was stopped by Florida Highway Patrol troopers at Mile Marker 366. Inside the rented blue Nissan Versa driven by Morua, troopers found four kilograms of cocaine wrapped in cellophane and what appeared to be black tape. The drugs were underneath the factory-installed carpeting and noise-dampening Styrofoam on both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle, according to reports. Morua claimed when the officials found the drugs that he suspected a friend must have placed them there when he borrowed the vehicle before Morua left Texas. Morua was arrested on a charge of trafficking cocaine and was taken to the Marion County Jail. He was released Aug. 1 on $100,000 bail. Last month, the State Attorney's Office, according to court documents, announced they would file no information in the case and defer to federal prosecution because Morua was indicted in the U.S. District court. Morua, who turns 34 on Friday, has a prior conviction in Texas for possession of 10 pounds of marijuana roughly seven years ago, and was sentenced to two years probation.