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Federal investigators find mail parcels to contain $57,000 in suspected drug-trafficking money

Federal investigators find mail parcels to contain $57,000 in suspected drug-trafficking money

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Several suspicious parcels of U.S. Priority Mail that drew the attention of a police dog were found to contain a total of $57,000 in suspected drug-trafficking money.

Returns filed in three search warrants obtained by the U.S. attorney and U.S. postal inspector’s offices, unsealed this week, show that the five packages were mailed to California addresses from addresses in Richmond. Authorities said they were looking for narcotics, currency and other material related to drug trafficking.

The court filings did not indicate if one or more arrests have been made as a result of any of the search warrants.

Affidavits from a postal inspector accompanying the warrants stated that suspicious characteristics of packages containing narcotics and trafficking-related items such as cash include: being sent by Priority Express or Priority Mail; having handwritten, non-typed address labels; having an invalid return address, sometimes even an invalid recipient address; and having the signature requirement waived.

“It is my experience that when these factors are observed, the alert of a trained canine on the package will follow,” wrote the inspector.

The five packages deemed suspicious on July 20 had some or all of the factors cited, and a specially trained Chesterfield County Police Department dog, Max, alerted on them that same day.

Four of the parcels were sent to two post office boxes that had received a total of nearly 200 parcels sent from Richmond or Norfolk since 2019, according to the affidavit.

Authorities said that one of the packages was related to a parcel sent from California to an address in Powhatan County. That package was searched on July 7 and found to contain more than 2 pounds of methamphetamine.


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