UPS Drug Bust: Mail Order Drug Trade No More

stacks of cards

Especially around the holidays, the number of packages, letters, and cards that are sent in the mail is seemingly endless. Although people send everything from greeting cards to beauty products through the mail, not everything that the mail carrier delivers is harmless.

Drug Trafficking Through UPS

This year, investigators discovered that a group of United Parcel Service employees were allegedly using their positions for money laundering and drug trafficking. The employees originate from the Tucson, Arizona area and are thought to have used their geographic proximity to Mexico to import drugs from the country before spreading them to other parts of the United States. The operation is thought to have originated with the illegal distribution of counterfeit vaping oils and grew to include higher-value drugs. The UPS drug traffickers were believed to have used standard cardboard boxes to transport thousands of pounds of illicit drugs. They covered up both the origin and destination of these packages to avoid suspicion and used WhatsApp to communicate.

After a ten-year investigation with wiretapping, undercover cops, GPS tracking, and more, the authorities began to make arrests. At least four employees have with been charged with drug trafficking and even more have been arrested for other related charges in this UPS drug bust. More arrests are expected to continue as well. These employees include drivers to supervisions. One such supervisor, Mario Barcelo, is suspected of being the leader of this complex operation. He worked at the Tucson distribution facility and it is believed that he used his position of power to successfully bypass security measures and direct the illegal deliveries for at least ten years. Authorities fear that these systems could continue to be manipulated and similar situations could appear in other parts of the country.

Drug Trafficking In The United States

As a Chicago drug and alcohol rehab, we know that this UPS drug bust is just another example of the great lengths that people will go to distribute illegal drugs in the United States. Drug traffickers have used trains, cars, boats, planes, and now mail delivery trucks to transport their goods. From regular-looking boxes in a UPS truck to giant shipments on cargo boats, drug traffickers will use whatever means possible to distribute these drugs throughout the country. With the rise of the internet, people have even begun to buy drugs through social media and use these outlets to coordinate the trafficking process. Time will tell what other new drug trafficking techniques take place in the future.

At Banyan Chicago, we know that addiction is often the fuel to these drug trades. Because people become dependent on these substances, there is a high demand for them, and drug traffickers can make a lot of profit. Instead of buying these illegal drugs to satisfy your addiction, get help. Our Illinois partial hospitalization program could help you regain control of your life and become sober.

To get started on your sobriety journey or to learn more about getting help for a loved one, call us immediately at 888-280-4763.


Get the help you need today at Banyan.

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.