UPS employees accused of trafficking cocaine in packages
MCALLEN, Texas (Gray News) - Two UPS employees are accused of transporting cocaine inside packages.
U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani announced that Orlando Candelario Almanza, 49, and Fidencio Salinas Jr., 51, have been arrested in Texas on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
Authorities said three others have also been taken into custody related to the case: Javier Enrique Mendoza, 48, Jose Felipe Lozano, 58, and Enrique Bernardo Gamez, 45.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, UPS employees Almanza and Salinas knowingly transported packages of cocaine that were being provided.
Authorities said Mendoza gave packages of cocaine to the workers while Lozano provided fraudulent labels for the packages and Gamez stored the cocaine at his residence before transport.
In 2022, the five of them conspired to transport cocaine through UPS packages multiple times from March to October, the indictment stated.
Authorities said they seized about 60 kilograms of cocaine the group trafficked.
If convicted, the men face up to life in prison and a possible $10 million fine, according to authorities.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, Hidalgo County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the FBI assisted in the investigation.
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