published Monday, February 10th, 2014

3 accused of mailing meth to Hawaii in mannequin heads

HONOLULU — There was something unusual about three mannequin heads found inside a UPS parcel being mailed from San Bernardino, Calif., to Hawaii: They each had two pounds of methamphetamine stuffed inside them, authorities said.

Now, three men in face drug charges in Hawaii. One of the men, Anthony Buzio Sanchez, was expected to plead guilty in federal court in Honolulu on Monday.

Authorities in California's Riverside County intercepted a cardboard box being mailed from San Bernardino to Honolulu, according to a criminal complaint.

Once a deputy sheriff got a California search warrant, investigators found inside shirts, shorts, slippers, towels and three boxes individually wrapped in pink and gold paper. The wrapped boxes "each contained a mannequin head with about two pounds of methamphetamine inside, totaling 2,932 grams of methamphetamine," the court document said.

After the drugs were discovered, the contents were mailed by FedEx to federal agents in Honolulu, where an undercover agent posing as a delivery man brought the parcel to the Honolulu address for which it was originally destined.

No one answered the door during two attempts to deliver the package. On the third attempt, a man identified in court papers as Carlos Gallego signed for the parcel.

Agents followed Gallego as he drove the box about 19 miles to a home in Waipahu, where the other men were arrested.

Sanchez, Gallego and Miguel Angel Rios Ruiz and Gallego were indicted in May. They initially pleaded not guilty to a meth-distribution charge.

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