PDEA-7: Former MMA fighter uses packaging of courier service companies to hide shabu during delivery
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) confiscated packagings used by different service couriers together with at least half a kilo of suspected shabu in a home in Sunset Drive in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City during an early morning raid on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Levi Ortiz, PDEA-7 director, said that drug suspect Slotty Avila, a former mixed martial arts fighter, would use the packaginging during his delivery of shabu to his buyers to hide the contraband.
Avila, 34, is considered a high value individual. He was arrested in a raid in a home in Barangay Lahug that is owned by the family of his common-law partner. He lives in the same house with his common-law partner.
The raid was based on a search warrant dated Dec. 2, 2022 and issued by a Regional Trial Court judge in Cebu City.
Oritz said they received information from concerned citizens about Avila’s operations.
“Naay nisumbong nato nga kani siya involved sa pagbaligya og shabu unya naggamit siya og mga courier service packaging para dili siya maklaro nga nagdeliver siya,” Ortiz said.
(Someone informed us that this person is involved in the selling of shabu and he is using the packaging of the courier service so that no one would suspect about what he was delivering.)
“Kani pud iyang shabu, gideliver pud ni siya diri through courier service,” he added.
(The shabu is also delivered here through courier service.)
Avila refused to comment when asked where he got the packaging of different service couriers that were found in his home.
Ortiz said that based on the information that they received, they placed Avila under surveillance for almost a month before they applied for the issuance of a search warrant.
“Mao to nga nakita nato gyud nga involve gyud siya sa illegal drugs,” the PDEA-7 director added.
(That is how we found out that he was really involved in illegal drugs.)
Ortiz said that during their surveillance they discovered that Avila would engage in online transactions with his buyers that are located within Metro Cebu. He would also make personal deliveries.
“Daku kaayo og factor ang social media sa iyang pagsulod sa illegal nga pagpamaligya ug illegal nga shabu,” Ortiz said.
(The social media was a big factor in his entering the selling of illegal drugs and shabu.)
The PDEA-7 director said that someone would deliver shabu to Avila through a courier service provider. However, they have yet to determine the source and origin of his supply. They are also doing a follow-up investigation to identify his buyers.
Ortiz said they would also be checking the suspects cellular phone hoping to find stored messages that might be vital to their ongoing investigation.
PDEA-7: Courier service packaging used
The presence of plastic packaging for Chinese tea bags that were found together with the at least half a kilo of shabu and the packaging of service couriers were an indication that Ortiz would receive his supply of shabu in bulk.
PDEA-7 has in previous operations confiscated bulk supply of shabu that were placed inside tea bag packaging.
Ortiz said that according to their informant, Avila would then repack shabu and place these again on courier service packages prior to its delivery.
For buyers who were just within their area, he would leave the shabu in a particular area for the buyer to pick up.
“Big time ni siya. Ang iyang delivery kinilo. Gamay na lang ang nakuha nato kay na deliver na ang uban,” Ortiz said.
(He is a big time [drug personality]. He delivers in kilos. We only confiscated a few illegal drugs because he had already delivered some of the drugs.)
Oritz said he suspected that payments were made online since they also found various money remittance receipts from Avila’s home.
Before he engaged in the illegal drug business, Avila was a professional MMA fighter, according to Ortiz.
In fact, Avila even tried to resist arrest when PDEA-7 agents barged into his home, he added.
“Ni aksyon gyud ni siya og sukol. Mao bitaw na nga naa siyay dugo sa iyang sanina. Pero maayo na lang kay na restrain dayon siya sa atong mga operatiba,” he said.
(He tried to resist arrest. That is why there is blood on his shirt. It is fortunate that the operatives managed to restrain him.)
Ortiz said it was a relief that he (the suspect) was unarmed.
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