According to Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a group of six people, allegedly led by 39-year-old Jorge Guerrero, used their access to privately-owned parcel delivery companies to smuggle narcotics into the country from Ecuador. The group were arrested this morning after a six-month wiretap investigation that led, in just the last three months, to the interception of five packages containing more than 11 pounds of narcotics from a warehouse at JFK Airport and private parcel delivery companies in Newark. In total "approximately four kilograms of cocaine (nearly 9 lbs) and one kilogram of heroin (over 2 lbs)" were seized.
Most of the cocaine was found stuffed inside empanada packages, at the bottom of "homemade sugar and oatmeal cookies," inside chocolate candy packaging and, impressively, the Feds also found more than three pounds of liquid cocaine soaked into a stack of scuba diving diplomas. The heroin was found inside sesame candy packages.
The way that the ring allegedly worked was simple: the parcels were sent directly from Ecuador to JFK where they were then distributed to parcel delivery companies where Guerrero and his ring would pick them up. In addition to Guerrero, the government also today arrested his wife Cecilia ("the money manager") along with Noe Fernandez, Judy Campos, Luis Amable Caisa Altamirano and Riqui Perez (the "main customer").
Oh, and also! Guerrero was also "charged in a grand larceny conspiracy for using his position as a driver for American Distributors, a private company that delivers lost luggage, to steal clothing, jewelry, electronics and other valuables from airline passengers’ bags." Which is why we always do our best to never check luggage.