UPS drivers, supervisors arrested in Tucson drug trafficking investigation


TUCSON – UPS drivers and supervisors were part of a scheme to distribute drugs from Tucson around the U.S., according to Homeland Security.

A joint effort byHomeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and Tucson Police Department (TPD) officers under the Counter Narcotics Alliance (CNA) umbrella, concluded a two week long enforcement activity on Thursday that resulted in 11 arrests while executing state search warrants related to an ongoing drug and money laundering investigation.

Those arrested face various Arizona state charges related to narcotic smuggling, drug possession, drug possession for sale, money laundering, conspiracy, and misconduct involving weapons:
• Fernando Navarro-Figueroa, 32
• Raul Garcia Cordova, 47
• Abraham Felix-Navarro, 27
• Heriberto Martinez-Bojorquez, 24
• Thomas Mendoza, 47
• Victor Molina, 32
• Mario Barcelo, 49
• Michael Castro, (34)
• Jonathan Gallegos, (26)
• Gary Love, (40)
• Martin Siqueiros (31)

The investigation began in 2017 after HSI special agents and TPD officers discovered evidence that drug trafficking organizations were utilizing United Parcel Service (UPS) employees to facilitate the movement of bulk narcotics to destinations throughout the eastern part of the United States, along with the movement of bulk U.S. currency back to the Tucson metropolitan area.

During the investigation law enforcement officers discovered that UPS drivers and supervisors were allegedly using sophisticated methods and techniques to defeat internal measures and law enforcement efforts to identify and intercept parcels containing contraband. Over the last two weeks agents made numerous arrests that included four UPS employees, both drivers and supervisors. The alleged other drug traffickers were arrested at locations throughout Pima County. An extensive amount of evidence was seized during the search warrants such as distribution quantities of narcotics, commercial grade equipment used to manufacture illicit drugs and approximately 50,000 counterfeit THC vape pens. Bulk currency along with other drug proceed assets were taken into evidence for seizure consideration, including a Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Raptor trucks and a Range Rover.

This case is being prosecuted by Arizona Attorney General Office.

“This investigation’s success is a direct result of the strong partnership between HSI Tucson and our local, state and federal law enforcement partners,” said Chad Plantz, deputy special agent in charge for HSI Tucson. “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.”

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