4 UPS employees arrested in drug smuggling bust

Kimberly Dole
November 29, 2019 - 9:13 am
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TUSCON, Ariz., (1010 WINS) -- Police arrested four UPS employees in a drug smuggling bust where over 50,000 counterfeit THC vape pens were seized, authorities said.

Tucson police Sgt. Wally Kaderly told CNN that the employees were arrested November 13 and seven other men, not employed by UPS, were arrested in connection with the case as well.

"Because of their positions in UPS, they had knowledge in some of the vulnerabilities in their infrastructure that allowed them to traffic these drugs undetected internally by UPS and externally by law enforcement," Kaderly said.

The operation included the trafficking of high-grade marijuana out of Arizona, Kaderly said.

Officials seized at least $10,000, as well as several vehicles, including Corvettes, Range Rovers and Ford Raptors and it is estimated that over 50,000 vape pens were seized, although a majority of them were not filled with THC extract according to Kaderly.

Police launched an investigation in 2017 after they discovered evidence of drug trafficking that allegedly stemming from UPS workerss.

Mario Barcelo, a supervisor who was the investigation''s main focus was one of the employees that police cuffed.

Supervisor Gary Love and drivers Michael Castro and Thomas Mendoza were arrested as well.

The eployees face charges for money laundering, drug possession and drug distribution charges according to a report from the Washington Post reported while the seven others face charges "related to the shipping of the drugs and operating stash houses for the illicit materials."