A CONTROLLED delivery operation conducted by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) in Lipa City, Batangas on Saturday led to the arrest of two men including a local vape shop owner and the confiscation of P600,000 worth of Kush, a high-grade marijuana derivative smuggled from the United States, officials said yesterday.
Suspects John Hernandez, the 29-year old owner of the vape store in Purok 4, Bgy. Sico, Lipa City, and Van Magpantay,29, a resident of Mataas na Kahoy, Bgy. 3 also in Lipa City are facing charges for violation of Section 4 or importation of dangerous drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
A report to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas said combined operatives of the PDEA and the PNP-DEG, with the assistance of officers from the PNP Aviation Security Group, Bureau of Customs and the National Bureau of Investigation launched the controlled delivery operation inside Hernandez’ Vape Habit shop.
The sting resulted in the seizure of 500 Kush drugs worth P600,000, three mobile phones, several identification cards and a signature record from the courier service company which cooperated with the agents in the conduct of the anti-narcotics operation.
The operation was launched after BoC agents discovered the air parcel containing the drugs and sent by one ‘Nina Manual’ from California, USA to a certain Demetria Escalona of Bgy. Dalipit East, Alitagtag, Batangas.
PDEA chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva said that during the controlled delivery operation, the consignee authorized Magpantay to receive the parcel.
However, Magpantay asked that the items be delivered to the vape shop owned by Hernandez. The arrests were made after the two received the parcel, said PNP-DEG director, Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee.
Controlled delivery is a technique used when a consignment of illicit drugs is detected and allowed to go forward under the control and surveillance of law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence against the organizers of such illicit drug traffic.