Texas UPS workers charged with trafficking cocaine
Five people, including two UPS employees, were arrested for allegedly trafficking cocaine through shipping packages, according to a U.S. Attorney.
United Parcel Service employees Orlando Candelario Almanza, 49, and Fidencio Salinas Jr., 51, of Texas, were arrested alongside three other people on last week, U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani announced Monday.
The three other men charged were 48-year-old Javier Enrique Mendoza, 58-year-old Jose Felipe Lozano, and 45-year-old Enrique Bernardo Gamez, authorities said. The three men allegedly collaborated with Salinas and Almanza to traffic packages of cocaine on multiple occasions between March and October of last year, according to the news release. Mendoza allegedly provided the packages of cocaine to the UPS employees, while Lozano allegedly provided fake labels for the packages, and Gamez stored the cocaine in his house before it was transported.
Police seized approximately 60 kilograms of cocaine allegedly trafficked by the group, according to the release.
All five men face charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, prosecutors said. If convicted, they all face up to life in prison and a possible $10 million fine.
A spokesperson for UPS told CBS News they are aware of the charges against Salinas and Almanza and are cooperating with investigators.
“We are aware of the incident involving two UPS employees and we’re cooperating with the investigation,” UPS said. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to make additional comments at this time, but instead defer to investigating authorities.”