15:18, May 31, 2010
Four individuals suspected of drug trafficking were arrested in Glendale on March 10, 2009. Two were Armenian. 32 pounds of opium were found in a package sent from Armenia to the home of 37 year-old Glendale resident Razmik Alchyan. The package was sent via FedEx. The drugs were concealed in pressure molds.
Also arrested with Alchyan were 27 year-old Lusineh Khachatryan (Glendale), 37 y.o. Edmond Bolandi (Palmdale) and 37 y.o. Ali Nouri. Lieutenant Bruce Fox, attached to the Special Investigations Bureau, told Glendale News that the street value of the drugs was $500,000.
Law enforcement found that the package contained the drugs in Memphis. Two FBI agents, disguised as mailmen delivered the package to the address on the package. When two men left the house and attempted to transport the package by car, they were immediately arrested.
During a search of the house, police discovered other packing paraphernalia for metal molds and delivery receipts, which, according to Lieutenant Fox, was additional proof that those arrested were engaged in drug trafficking. It was the biggest drug bust in Glendale police history.
The next day, March 11, another package containing drugs, this time 11 kilos of opium was found in a bus belonging to the "Sima-Safar" passenger and freight company on the way to Armenia from Iran. The drugs were hidden in similar specially made molds. This package was also destined to be shipped to the United States via FedEx in Armenia.
It was an Iranian named Muhammad that had shipped the opium to Armenia from Iran. He had contracted with FedEx in Armenia to send the pressure molds to Europe and the U.S. The drugs were transported to Armenia by drivers working for the Sima-Safar bus company. From Armenia, the goods were divied up and sent to various individuals.
On the day of delivery, March 11, the RoA National Security Service initiated criminal charges of organized drug trafficking and illegal distribution and sale of hallucinogens. According to a statement we received from the Chief Prosecutor's Office, Armenian law enforcement arrested both the individual in whose name the package to the U.S. was sent and the actual sender was to be.
According to findings of the preliminary investigation given us by the Prosecutor's Office, 28 similar molds transported from Iran were sent to Canada from Armenia, seven were sent to the U.S. and two to France. These findings cannot yet state whether the sent items contained drugs or not.
Corresponding inquiries have been dispatched to prosecutors of the countries in question requesting additional information, including the contents of the molds sent in the past and their final destination points.
Replies have yet to be received, except in the case of the U.S. According to the Glendale Prosecutor's Office, Razmik Alchyan has been released. Four months ago, Hetq sent an e-mail to the Glendale Police Department's Public Affairs Department requesting further information as to why those arrested in the case had been released. We have not received any answer to date.
Presently, the criminal case in Armenia has been put on "hold". Those arrested have been released but the investigation continues.
We have not been supplied any details in the matter by Armenian law enforcement who argue that such information is being withheld due to the ongoing investigation.
"They have been released because the necessity of keeping tem in custody no longer exists," replied the Chief Prosecutor's Press Secretary. In the reply, they do not explain why the necessity to detain these individuals in such a serious matter no loner exists.
Similar cases have been uncovered in FedEx branches around the world. Criminal indictments have been handed down and people have gone to jail. In almost all cases, FedEx employees have been found to have been knowing accomplices.
To be continued
FedEx: Global Shipper Being Used to Ship Drugs From Armenia