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Two UPS employees arrested on charges of taking part in an alleged cocaine trafficking scheme

They were among five Texas men arrested and accused of transporting cocaine through UPS packages for several months, authorities said.
A UPS driver
Two UPS employees were among five Texas men arrested in an alleged cocaine trafficking scheme.David Goldman / AP file

Five Texas men, including two UPS employees, were arrested on drug trafficking charges for allegedly transporting cocaine through the company's packages, according to U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

The indictment was unsealed last week in the Southern District of Texas and detailed the chain of command in the alleged drug trafficking scheme that authorities said occurred several times from last March 24 through Oct. 3.

Javier Enrique Mendoza, 48, allegedly supplied the group with packages of cocaine, and Jose Felipe Lozano, 58, allegedly manufactured fraudulent labels for the packages. Enrique Bernardo Gamez, 45, allegedly stored the drugs at his house before they were transported, and UPS employees Orlando Candelario Almanza, 49, and Fidencio Salinas Jr., 51, allegedly knowingly transported the cocaine.

They were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, according to court documents

Gamez was taken into custody, prior to the other men’s arrests, on related charges. His lawyer declined to comment at this time.

Lawyers for the other men in custody did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for UPS said the company is aware of the incident but declined to comment at this time, due to the ongoing investigation.

Law enforcement seized approximately 60 kilograms of cocaine that the group allegedly trafficked, according to officials.

If they are convicted, the men could all face up to life in prison and possibly a $10 million fine.