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UPS employees charged with trafficking cocaine

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McALLEN, Texas – A total of five people have been arrested on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Orlando Candelario Almanza, 49, Edinburg, and Fidencio Salinas Jr., 51, Pharr, are set to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia S. Medrano at 9:30 a.m. today.

Also arrested last week and who made their appearance already were Javier Enrique Mendoza, 48, Pharr, and Jose Felipe Lozano, 58, Edinburg. Enrique Bernardo Gamez, 45, Hidalgo, was previously in custody on related charges and will make his appearance in the near future.

The multi-count indictment was returned Feb. 21 and unsealed upon the arrests last week.

On multiple occasions between March 24 through Oct. 3, 2022, the indictment alleges the five individuals conspired to transport cocaine through UPS packages.

Salinas and Almanza are both allegedly UPS employees who knowingly transported the packages of cocaine. The charges allege Mendoza provided the packages of cocaine to UPS employees, while Lozano allegedly provided fraudulent labels for the packages. Gamez stored the cocaine at his residence prior to transport, according to the charges.

Law enforcement seized approximately 60 kilograms of cocaine these individuals allegedly trafficked.

If convicted, they all face up to life in prison and a possible $10 million fine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Hidalgo County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Garcia is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.



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Lebanese authorities seize 8kg of cocaine at Beirut airport

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Officials detain suspect who had previously served a six-year sentence for drug smuggling

Lebanese authorities said they had detained a man caught with about 8kg of cocaine at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport.

The man, a Brazilian national with Lebanese origins, had sought to conceal the drugs in a hidden compartment in his suitcase.

He had previously served a six-year sentence in a Lebanese prison on drug trafficking charges and was released in 2022.

Drug busts are relatively common at Lebanon’s only international airport, with authorities stepping up efforts to crack down on the trade in recent years amid pressure from countries in the Gulf.

In January, airport authorities stopped two Brazilian travellers who had ingested 2kg of cocaine in more than 150 capsules.

Read more

https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/lebanon/2023/12/30/lebanese-authorities-seize-8kg-of-cocaine-at-beirut-airport/

 



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Malta: Racehorse tests positive for cocaine and other drugs after winning Marsa race

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A racehorse tested positive for cocaine and other drugs after it won a race last month.

Six-year-old mare Halina Jibay was found with cocaine in its body when it outperformed nine other horses on the Marsa racecourse on October 1, tests carried out in a French doping laboratory revealed.

In a decision issued by the Malta Racing Club this week, the mare’s owner was suspended from all races for two years and fined €350.

A doping test result issued by the Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques and seen by Times of Malta confirms a urine sample taken from the horse on the day of the race contained cocaine, stanozolol (a synthetic steroid), ketamine (a form of tranquilliser), and methamphetamine (a stimulating drug), among other similar substances.

At least two of the substances – including cocaine – constitute among the most serious rule breaks according to the Malta Racing Club’s regulations, and the rules state such cases must also be reported to the police since the possession of these substances is illegal.

The Malta Racing Club last night said the horse owner was given until today to contest the findings and present a counter-analysis.

Should the owner not contest the findings, then the case will be reported to the police.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/racehorse-tests-positive-cocaine-drugs-winning-marsa-race.1066917



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East Boston man arrested after police find 240 grams of fentanyl in home

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An East Boston man is facing a slew of drug charges after police found a stockpile of fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms and thousands of dollars in his home, Suffolk DA Kevin Hayden announced Sunday.

“Fentanyl is a death drug, plain and simple,” Hayden said in a release. “The amount seized here — 240 grams of fentanyl, plus sizeable quantities of other drugs — represents a tremendous amount of potential human devastation.”

After months of investigating, police executed a search warrant for the apartment of Robert Ciampi, 63, on Orleans Street in East Boston on Nov. 1, according to the release.

Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.



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