A group of UPS employees have been accused of running a drug-smuggling ring from Mexico to the United States in a massive operation that lasted for 10-years before they were arrested.
According to ABC 15, eleven men, including four UPS drivers and supervisors, were arrested in Tucson, Ariz., after a two-year Department of Homeland Security investigation into the smuggling ring.
The workers would hide the packages of drugs within other shipments and ensure they were shipped to the correct locations without any interference, prosecutors said.
Mario Barcelo, a 20-year UPS employee, was considered the ringleader of the group and was allegedly responsible for managing all shipments. Barcelo, 49; Gary Love, 40; Michael Castro, 34, and Thomas Mendoza, 47, all UPS employees have been charged with money laundering, drug possession, and drug distribution.
According to the reports, seven others were also arrested for charges on shipping drugs and operating stash houses.
“This investigation’s success is a direct result of the strong partnership between HSI Tucson and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners,” Chad Plantz, deputy special agent in charge for HSI Tucson, said in a statement. “Close coordination between law enforcement agencies and harnessing our collective resources is essential to ensuring alleged criminals like those arrested are removed from our community.”
During a raid on a mansion belonging to one of the alleged gang members – Raul Garcia Cordova, police say they seized a boat, a Chevrolet Corvette, a Range Rover, and 50,000 counterfeit vape pens.
Ledgers, cash and marijuana were also found stashed underneath a Jacuzzi.
The Authorities say more arrests are likely to be made, as one of the men, Jonathan Gallegos, is suspected of being a member of a larger drug-trafficking organization in Mexico.
In a statement by UPS, they said they are fully cooperating with law enforcement professionals and ‘will continue to provide information as needed.’