Sandy Springs-based UPS said the company is cooperating with law enforcement authorities’ investigation into narcotics trafficking. (AJC file photo)

UPS employees arrested in drug trafficking investigation

Four UPS employees, including drivers and supervisors, were arrested in a federal investigation into narcotics trafficking that officials say went undetected for more than a decade.

The investigation began in 2017, after Homeland Security Investigations special agents and Tucson Police Department officers found evidence that drug trafficking organizations were allegedly using UPS employees to move narcotics to the eastern United States, and to move bulk U.S. currency to the Tucson, Arizona, area, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

In response, Sandy Springs-based UPS issued a statement saying it is “aware of the law enforcement actions involving employees.”

“We cooperate fully with law enforcement professionals and will continue to provide information as needed,” UPS said.

Counter Narcotics Alliance commander John Leavitt said in a written statement that the investigation found and mitigated “vulnerabilities in the shipping infrastructure that has allowed for the undetected trafficking of narcotics for more than a decade.”

Homeland Security said law enforcement officers discovered that UPS drivers and supervisors were allegedly using techniques to “defeat internal measures and law enforcement efforts to identify and intercept parcels containing contraband.”

In addition to the four UPS employees, other alleged drug traffickers were arrested in Arizona’s Pima County, according to Homeland Security.

The agency said evidence seized included commercial grade equipment to manufacture illicit drugs and about 50,000 counterfeit THC vape pens. Other alleged drug proceed assets taken into evidence included bulk currency, a Corvette, Ford Raptor trucks and a Range Rover.

A total of 11 people were arrested in the drug and money laundering investigation, facing Arizona state charges related to narcotic smuggling, drug possession, drug possession for sale, money laundering, conspiracy and misconduct involving weapons, according to Homeland Security:

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

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