PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Drug smugglers are shipping drugs, cash and other merchandise to unsuspecting Phoenix area homeowners, then sending couriers to pick up the parcels, according to law enforcement sources who spoke to CBS 5 Investigates.
According to police, it is an effort to use the Postal Service and other parcel delivery companies to ship illegal cargo, while avoiding arrest.
Last month, one west Valley homeowner documented a similar scenario with a security camera.
The video shows a man approach the home, then identify himself as a "package recovery" employee. He said a package had been delivered to the home by mistake.
The homeowner, who is a CBS 5 Investigates producer, told the man no packages had been delivered and the man left. But three hours later, a UPS truck arrived with a package that was addressed to the producer's address, but with someone else's name.
The producer told the UPS delivery driver to return the package to its sender. Later that night, the producer saw the package recovery employee sitting in his car across the street.
The following day, the recovery employee showed up again and stated that the package had been delivered to the home and he was there to pick it up.
"The box that you got probably had two phones it in. What I do is it goes to the wrong address and I recover it and then I get a different address and I got to take it to the people that work for them and deliver it," said the man.
When the producer identified himself as a news employee, the man said he worked for a European company, but gave the producer a phone number that CBS 5 Investigates traced to the country, Ghana in Africa.
A spokesperson for UPS told CBS 5 Investigates that customers should contact the UPS directly if they receive a parcel they did not order or that is addressed to someone else. The spokesperson said the company works with law enforcement to prevent the shipment of illegal items.