Cops: UPS Workers Made Some Very Illegal Deliveries

Two workers accused in drug trafficking scheme out of Texas
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2023 12:53 PM CST
Cops: UPS Workers Made Some Very Illegal Deliveries
A UPS deliveryman climbs over a snowbank while trying to deliver a package in this file photo.   (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)

Some UPS drivers encounter trouble with snow, others with a very different kind of white powder. Two UPS employees are facing up to life in prison for "knowingly" transporting cocaine, federal authorities say. An indictment unsealed in the Southern District of Texas describes the drug trafficking scheme that involved numerous shipments between March 24 and Oct. 3, per NBC News. Five men were allegedly involved. Javier Enrique Mendoza, 48, allegedly supplied the cocaine; Enrique Bernardo Gamez, 45, allegedly stored the drugs; Jose Felipe Lozano, 58, allegedly manufactured fraudulent package labels; and UPS employees Orlando Candelario Almanza, 49, and Fidencio Salinas Jr., 51, allegedly transported the packages knowing full well what they contained.

Authorities seized more than 130 pounds of cocaine trafficked by the group, according to the indictment. Gamez was "in custody on related charges" when the other four were arrested last week, authorities say. Almanza was detained in McAllen, Texas, while Salinas Jr. was detained in Hidalgo, per USA Today. "We are aware of the incident involving two UPS employees and we're cooperating with the investigation," UPS says in a statement, adding no additional comments will be made due to the "ongoing investigation." All five accused face up to life in prison plus a $10 million fine if convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute. (Read more UPS stories.)

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