A man who has lived 25 years illegally in the U.S. got caught this week, not for being undocumented but for using vacuum-sealed FedEx packages to transport large quantities of marijuana across the country, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
Yoshio Avila-Munoz, a Mexican national, is being held under $1 million bond in the Rowan County jail, according to a press release.
Investigators said in the release that 37-year-old Avila-Munoz had been caught by immigration agents 15 years ago and ordered to leave the country, but has “evaded arrest.”
The drug dealing operation unraveled Tuesday in Concord, North Carolina, when a drug-sniffing dog detected “the presence and/or odor of narcotics emanating from” a FedEx package addressed to 1174 Tammy’s Park Road in Salisbury, said a sheriff’s office release.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“A search warrant was obtained that led to the discovery of 20 one-pound vacuum sealed bags of marijuana, along with packing material,” said the release.
The package was reassembled and delivered to the home in Salisbury, and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office followed shortly after with a search warrant, the release said.
Searchers recovered the package and “found evidence of prior package deliveries from California,” along with one handgun, one shotgun and two rifles, said the release.
Police say they found methamphetamine and “an additional amount of marijuana.” The drugs found in the mobile home are valued at $60,000, said the release.
Avila-Munoz is charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a dwelling for keeping and selling controlled substances, said the release.
“Due to Avila-Munoz being in the United States illegally, he is prohibited from possessing firearms and he faces potential federal charges,” said the release. “The investigation is ongoing.”
Investigators did not say if anyone else lived in the mobile home with Avila-Munoz.
The case is a joint operation involving the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Concord Police Department, Salisbury Police Department, N.C. Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, said the release.