TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Meth found in art frames shipped to Oakland store from Mexico

Daily Photo Galleries

Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 6:03 p.m.
 

A package delivered to an Oakland store from Mexico contained two large framed pictures of religious figures and about a kilogram of methamphetamine, according to court documents unsealed Friday in federal court.

Michael O'Neill, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, said in an affidavit that the person who picked up the package on Aug. 28 admitted receiving another picture the week before.

U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Reed Eddy found probable cause during a Thursday preliminary hearing to hold Carmel Rojas-Perez, age unavailable, pending trial on a smuggling charge. Rojas-Perez waived a detention hearing and is being held without bail.

Rojas-Perez told agents he came to the country illegally in 1993 and a friend in Mexico named Angel sent the frames, according to the affidavit.

Customs officers initially intercepted the package at the FedEx hub in Memphis, O'Neill said in his affidavit. It was on its way from Toluca, Mexico, to the Las Palmas store on Atwood Street in Oakland. Discovering the white powder secreted in the picture frames, they sealed the package and gave it to Homeland Security Investigations so agents could conduct a controlled delivery.

State Trooper Joshua Giran, working undercover as a parcel delivery man, allowed the store owner to sign for the package. The owner set it on a shelf and Rojas-Perez showed up about four hours later to collect it, the affidavit said.

Agents waited until Rojas-Perez took it into a second-floor apartment before arresting him and conducting a search. The frames of the pictures were hollow and contained long, black packages of meth, the affidavit said.

Brian Bowling is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police: Man wanted in fatal state trooper ambush captured
  2. 5 Cal U football players arrested for assault; Saturday’s game canceled
  3. Steelers’ prime-time games shrink attendance at Heinz Field
  4. Building collapses in Connellsville; mounds of debris land in street
  5. Southmoreland cross country trio chasing solid finishes
  6. Defense witness testifies on video, absent jurors, of cyanide alternatives
  7. U.S. Rep Kelly tells Pittsburgh VA official taking over VA Erie top post of need for transparency
  8. State trooper struck by SUV in Westmoreland faces more surgery, long recovery
  9. Steelers offense puts up gaudy numbers in season’s 1st half
  10. Starkey: Hockey hypocrites, unite
  11. Mylan’s 3Q profit triples on strong U.S. sales
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.