DOJ: Customs and Border Protection Officer, Ex-Wife Caught in Drug-Running Ring

A Customs and Border Protection officer and his ex-wife were found guilty of multiple felonies Friday after they allegedly participated in a “narcotics distribution ring” that moved “hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, heroin and marijuana” from Los Angeles to Chicago. According to a Department of Justice press release, 52-year-old Manuel Porras Salas—a 25-year veteran of the CPB working at both John Wayne and Ontario International airports—and 50-year-old Sayda Powery Orellana used a “commercial truck driver” to move the substances across the country. Salas and Orellana received “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for running the drugs, and they laundered the money through bank accounts and gambled the money in a Southern California casino. The two were found after a truck driver was stopped in New Mexico carrying about $1.5 million dollars worth of drugs and the bank account numbers of Orellana and Salas. A federal jury convicted Salas and Orellana of “one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of making false statements to law enforcement.” Orellana was also convicted of four additional money laundering accounts. Both face a minimum of 10 years in prison, and will be sentenced on April 15.