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Edinburg, Texas News

Edinburg Man Sentenced for Cocaine Trafficking Through UPS Employment

Orlando Candelario Almanza, a 50-year-old resident of Edinburg, has been sentenced after being found guilty of possession with intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Almanza had pleaded guilty on October 23, 2023. U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez has now ordered him to serve a total of 75 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. During the sentencing hearing, evidence was presented regarding Almanza's significant role in a drug trafficking organization, including his position at UPS.

It was revealed that Almanza, who had been employed by UPS for over two decades, exploited his position to facilitate drug shipments by circumventing security protocols. He was responsible for delivering packages directly to UPS carrier airplanes for outbound delivery.

Law enforcement authorities seized multiple packages of cocaine from various locations across the country, all of which were traced back to the UPS facility in McAllen and directly linked to Almanza and another employee, Fidencio Salinas Jr.

In October 2022, after a thorough investigation, authorities observed Almanza receiving a package from drug traffickers while on duty. The package, intended for Tennessee, contained 10 kilograms of cocaine. Almanza reportedly received payments ranging from $300 to $500 per cocaine-filled package shipped on behalf of the traffickers.

Salinas Jr., aged 51 and from Pharr, who had been employed by UPS for over seven years, was previously sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.

Almanza has been granted permission to remain on bond until he voluntarily surrenders himself to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, the location of which will be determined in the near future.

“Almanza chose to break not only the trust of his company but that of the community,” said Hamdani. “These men chose to help drug traffickers, in the end causing them to trade their brown uniforms for orange jumpsuits.”

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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