There have been five recent arrests made for cocaine possession and distribution.
The suspects include Orlando Candelario Almanza, 49, from Edinburg, Fidencio Salinas Jr., 51, from Pharr, Javier Enrique Mendoza, 48, from Pharr, Jose Felipe Lozano, 58, from Edinburg, and Enrique Bernardo Gamez, 45, from Hidalgo.
Almanza and Salinas are both alleged to be UPS employees who knowingly transported packages of cocaine. The charges claim that Mendoza provided the cocaine to the UPS employees, while Lozano provided fraudulent labels for the packages. Gamez is accused of storing the cocaine at his residence prior to transport.
The multi-count indictment was returned on February 21 and was unsealed upon the arrests last week. The indictment alleges that the five individuals conspired to transport cocaine through UPS packages on multiple occasions between March 24 and October 3, 2022.
Law enforcement reportedly seized approximately 60 kilograms of cocaine that these individuals allegedly trafficked.
Almanza and Salinas are set to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nadia S. Medrano at 9:30 a.m. today. Mendoza and Lozano have already made their appearances, while Gamez was previously in custody on related charges and will appear in the near future.
If convicted, all five individuals face up to life in prison and a possible $10 million fine.