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Affidavit: Agents used trip wires inside package to nab drug suspects

Agents used light-and-motion-sensitive trip wire devices in package of illicit drugs to help apprehend two suspects in Commerce, according to details released in federal documents.

Two men were charged by a federal grand jury last week in a methamphetamine case, and an affidavit by a Homeland Security Investigations special agent details the interception and delivery of the package last month to a Commerce home.

Jose Ignacio Borrego, 21, of Statham and Gerardo Martinez-Luviano, 27, of Commerce were taken into custody in May. Both were charged in a June 4 federal grand jury indictment.

Authorities arrested the two men May 8 after intercepting a package containing 33 kilograms of methamphetamine, which law enforcement officials said has a high-end estimated street value of $3.3 million.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center flagged the parcel May 2 in Memphis. Officers performed field testing to positively identify the contents as methamphetamine weighing roughly 33.7 kilograms.

The package was to be sent to Erastus Road, though the actual valid address is Erastus Church Road.

A Homeland Security Investigations agent discovered a Guadalajara, Mexico, address that sent a package to the Erastus Road address had also been used for four other express shipments.

The four packages were sent to Suriname, Texas, Japan and Illinois, but the first shipment to Suriname was not seized. One package contained hashish, MDMA and methamphetamine, while the other two had either methamphetamine or marijuana.

Undercover Homeland Security agents delivered the package to Erastus Church Road in Commerce “with the methamphetamine inside the crates,” according to the affidavit.

“And, prior to delivery, inspectors inserted electronic trip-wire devices that were concealed inside each of the boxes. The trip-wire is a device that senses motion and light. Thus, if the package was opened, the device would sense light and alert law enforcement that the package had been opened,” according to the affidavit.

Once the trip wire was triggered, law enforcement entered the Erastus Church Road mobile home and arrested Martinez-Luviano and Borrego.

Law enforcement officials said the estimated street value for the package would be between $1.3 million and $3.3 million.


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