11 defendants arraigned in drug-trafficking ring involving UPS employees


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11 defendants arraigned in drug-trafficking ring involving UPS employees - ICE

A State Grand Jury indicted 11 individuals accused of shipping illegal drugs and contraband across the country through the United Parcel Service (UPS); collectively the defendants face 48 felony counts, including money laundering, transportation of marijuana for sale, transportation of narcotic drugs for sale, misconduct involving weapons, and illegally conducting an enterprise. These charges stem from a multiyear investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Tucson Police Department (TPD) officers who are part of the Counter Narcotics Alliance (CNA).

The investigation began in 2017 when HSI special agents and TPD officers discovered that UPS employees in the Tucson area were allegedly using the UPS distribution network to ship illegal drugs and other contraband. UPS employees Mario Arvisu Barcelo, Michael Anthony Castro, Gary Lamont Love, Thomas Alfred Mendoza, along with their non-employee associates, Victor Manuel Alexander Molina, Martin Octavio Siqueiros-Diaz, and Jonathan Sanchez Gallegos, were reportedly able to ship packages undetected across the country by using closed business accounts. Specifically, between November 2018 and June 2019, undercover officers shipped and received packages, supposedly containing illegal drugs and illegal drug proceeds, by routing them through the shipment center in Tucson.