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Press Release

UPS employee heads to prison for concealing cocaine in packages

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

McALLEN, Texas – A 50-year-old Edinburg man has been sentenced following his conviction for possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Orlando Candelario Almanza pleaded guilty Oct. 23, 2023.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez has now ordered Almanza to serve a total of 75 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence about Almanza’s high ranking position at UPS. He was not only a driver but was also responsible for delivering packages directly to UPS carrier airplanes for outbound delivery. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Almanza played a key role in the drug trafficking organization.

“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.”

Almanza was a UPS employee of over 20 years and used his knowledge to help circumvent security protocols and ship the cocaine filled packages on behalf of drug traffickers.

Law enforcement seized several packages of cocaine from across the country which were traced back to the McAllen UPS facility and to Almanza and another employee - Fidencio Salinas Jr.

In October 2022, after several months of investigation, authorities observed Almanza receive a package from drug traffickers while on shift. The package was destined for Tennessee and contained 10 kilograms of cocaine.

Drug traffickers paid Almanza approximately $300-$500 dollars per cocaine-filled package shipped.

Salinas Jr., 51, Pharr, a UPS employee for over seven years, previously received 27 months in federal prison.  

Almanza was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Drug Enforcement Administration along with FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Garcia prosecuted the case.

Updated March 27, 2024

Drug Trafficking