Agents find Christmas packages containing kilos of cocaine

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

U.S. Postal Inspectors said they discovered two kilos of cocaine inside a Christmas present that was addressed to an Orlando woman.

Investigators said after they discovered the drugs, agents went undercover and delivered the package to a woman at the Lake Barton Villa off of Semoran Boulevard.

According to investigators, the woman initially said she was expecting a gift but once agents confronted her inside her apartment they said she told them it wasn't her package.

The postal service will handle more than 500 million pieces of mail over the holiday season, officials said.

Postal inspectors and agents with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation said they are paying close attention to some packages that have been found loaded with cocaine making their way into central Florida.

"Every day we're doing sorts through the mail, using dogs, drug sniffling dogs," said MBI Director Larry Zwieg, "We find packages daily through the mail."

Zwieg pointed out two large packages that he said came from the same person in Puerto Rico in the past week.

Both of the packages were wrapped in Christmas gift wrap and sent Express Mail.

Zwieg said one of the packages was sent to the Orlando apartment complex and addressed to Marla Muriel.

According to Zwieg, when an undercover postal inspector posed as a mail carrier, a woman, Bethzaida Albelo, claimed to be Muriel and signed for the package.

Zwieg said the second package was picked up by Damian Martinez at a home in south Orange County. Martinez said it was a gift for his cousin, according to Zwieg.

Investigators said when they unwrapped the boxes they found packages loaded with cookies and other snacks and they said they found 2 kilos of cocaine in each box.

According to investigators, Albelo changed her story when confronted and said she had some new roommates. Investigators said Abelo told them she only took the package because she was nosey.

Zwieg said excuses by those arrested don't get them much sympathy.

"If we come to your house with a package, we already know why it's going to you and usually know the story behind it," said Zwieg.