A federal investigation regarding the recovery of 20 intercepted packages at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City led to the arrest of two Modesto residents by the Oakdale Police Department on Wednesday, Sept 17.
Oakdale Police Sergeant Ben Savage said that last week agents recovered boxed shipments containing individual ecstasy packages during US Customs inspections of incoming mail.
One of the parcels, which contained 262 individual bags of the measured drug, was for Shannon Murphy at an Oakdale address on Ventanas Avenue.
When the package was delivered by postal authorities, agents and police monitored the address but learned Murphy was not home. An appointment was set to pick up the package at an undisclosed Oakdale location at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17.
Detectives and federal authorities set up a surveillance of the location as Murphy signed for and picked up the package and then drove toward Riverbank.
Police made a traffic stop on her vehicle on West F Street and later arrested Murphy, 29, of Modesto, for not only possession of the drugs, but driving under the influence of alcohol.
Savage said Murphy had a preliminary blood alcohol screening of .14 at the time of her arrest.
The investigation revealed Murphy and her boyfriend, Marcos Guerrero, 20, were using Murphy’s parents’ address to receive the shipments from an unnamed Belgium company.
During questioning, Murphy consented to a search of their Gerita Court home in Modesto where authorities found almost a pound of marijuana, over a pound of psilocybin (psychedelic) mushrooms, 140 morphine tablets, 115 tablets of LSD with a combined street value of over $35,500. Police also seized $5,000 in cash at the home.
When police were at the residence, Guerrero arrived and was also taken into custody.
“He (Guerrero) is the main player in this operation,” Savage said. “She was aware of the activity though and assisted him.”
Savage explained that both Guerrero and Murphy cooperated with police during questioning, stating that they would use Murphy’s parents’ address to receive the packages as the “drop point.”
Guerrero also explained to federal agents the process he would use to order the ecstasy from the overseas company.
The ecstasy shipped was in powder form and the subjects would make capsules with empty gel caps that were also recovered at the residence. Guerrero told police he would sell the ecstasy, and the other drugs, to his friends in this area and would also sell in large quantities in the Bay Area.
Guerrero and Murphy are being held in Stanislaus County Jail on $50,000 bail each for a variety of drug charges.
US law enforcement officials are continuing the investigation.