Cocaine Cowboys: Texas UPS Workers Charged With Running Drugs

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Five people in Texas, two of whom work for UPS, have been charged with trafficking cocaine via shipping packages.

The operation seems simple. One of the men charged, Javier Mendoza, would bring the packages to UPS employees Orlando Almanza and Fidencio Salinas. Jose Lozano provided fake shipping labels and Bernardo Gamez stored the drugs at his house.

Police seized about 60 kilograms of cocaine. All five suspects are charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. All face up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million.

A spokesperson told CBS News: "We are aware of the incident involving two UPS employees and we're cooperating with the investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to make additional comments at this time, but instead defer to investigating authorities."

I have no snarky comment to add here, though I will be looking at UPS trucks a bit differently from now on.

[Image: UPS]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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4 of 9 comments
  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Mar 04, 2023

    The drug war is a joke. We live sadly in the post modern, feelings dictate truth world. People want to poison their bodies. It's a sad state of affairs but clearly making it illegal has not worked. So let these guys go back to work. They are just suppling what the people want. I seriously think this is more about protecting big pharma from competition. They pay big bribes (campaign donations) to keep their competition illegal.

  • RHD RHD on Mar 05, 2023

    China is sending the precursor chemicals in huge quantities to Mexico and other countries, where methamphetamine and fentanyl are synthesized in ungodly quantities. The "new meth" uses a different substance than psuedoephedrine, and causes mental illness and violent craziness almost immediately.

    The homeless crisis is being fueled by a foreign power, while we blame our own citizens and each other.

  • El scotto El scotto on Mar 05, 2023

    Staying on subject, I can print UPS labels from the computer I'm making this comment on. It is inferred but not stated they used UPS vehicles to deliver cocaine.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Mar 06, 2023

    UPS is how most illegal drugs get across and delivered in the US, followed by FedEx, and also cash bundles going the other way.

    If you’ve received a package that appears to be inspected/resealed, it likely wasn’t the cops/feds.

    If you’ve ever shipped or expected to receive illegal drugs or large quantities of cash via UPS or FedEx and it never arrived and you didn’t get contacted by law enforcement, now you know why.