Most people expect that when they ship something, the shipping company will have restrictions on what can and cannot be transported; the U.S. Postal Service, for example, has some pretty strict rules regarding live animals in the mail, while most car shipping services typically refuse to transport a vehicle if it contains more than 100 lbs. of nonessential cargo.
Most people wouldn’t venture that it would be safe to ship illegal drugs in the U.S. — but 35-year-old Timothy Phoneprasith took that risk anyway.
The father of four and resident of Waukesha, Wisconsin received five different charges on January 16 when a K-9 unit sniffed out a package, delivered to him, containing nearly 10 pounds of marijuana.
WISN 12 and Fox News 6 report that police believe that Phoneprasith had the pot shipped from California, after it was smuggled over the U.S.-Mexico border, and intended to distribute it in Milwaukee.
Phoneprasith’s May 5 hearing is addressing the following charges:
Possession, with intent to deliver, THC (amount between 2,500 and 10,000 grams)
Possession, with intent to deliver, THC (amount between 1,000 and 2,500 grams)
Possession, with intent to deliver, THC (amount less than 200 grams)
Maintaining a drug trafficking place
Possession of drug paraphernalia
Fox News 6 reports that the K-9 unit involved is a part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and that the detective was performing a routine sniff inspection. The dog found a package addressed to “Alex Phon” in Waukesha County, with a return label stating that the box was mailed from California.
After obtaining a search warrant for the package, officials found that the box was lined with sheet metal (likely intended to cover up the scent) and that the leafy green contents tested positive for THC.
The package was sealed back up and delivered to Phoneprasith’s home, where he was later seen taking the box inside.
One week later, UPS contacted the HIDTA detective again to report that another package was being sent to the same address with the recipient’s name listed as “Tony Phommasone,” and the contents inside again tested positive for THC.
Upon being questioned, Phoneprasith admitted to police that he had received four packages of marijuana through UPS and FedEx since July 2014, and that he intended to sell the drug for $250 per one-ounce bag.
An investigation is still underway to determine who sent Phoneprasith the packages.
If Phoneprasith is convicted, he could face nearly 10 years in prison.