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UPS employees arrested as part of massive cocaine trafficking operation

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  • Staff Report 

Two employees of the package delivery giant, UPS, were arrested on Tuesday as part of a multimillion-dollar cocaine trafficking operation. Orlando Candelario Almanza, 49, and Fidencio Salinas Jr., 51, are accused of knowingly transporting the illegal drugs through the company’s packages.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas revealed that Javier Enrique Mendoza, 48, allegedly supplied the cocaine to Enrique Bernardo Gamez, 45, who stored it at his home until it was ready for shipment. Prosecutors added that Jose Felipe Lozano, 58, created counterfeit labels for the packages and delivered them to Almanza and Salinas.

Authorities stated that the five men trafficked over 130 pounds of cocaine from March 24, 2022, to October 3, 2022. Following their arrest, the men were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The five men face a sentence of life imprisonment and fines of up to $10 million if convicted. The two UPS employees are suspended from their duties while the investigation continues.

UPS expressed its awareness of the incident in a statement to USA TODAY, saying that it was “cooperating with the investigation” and could not provide further comment as the investigation is ongoing.

Drug trafficking is a severe problem in Texas, and the authorities have been fighting it relentlessly. This operation is part of a broader effort to put an end to the illegal distribution of drugs in the state.

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