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Worthington men get UPS pot package

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WORTHINGTON -- Felony drug charges were filed Thursday against two Worthington men who allegedly took possession of a UPS package filled with marijuana.

The complaint states Khom Sysavath, 34, and Harry Insixiengmay, 28, are both charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance. Sysavath is also charged with liability of crimes of another-possession of a controlled substance.

A Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force agent learned on July 22 of a suspicious UPS package that was supposed to be delivered to "Peter" at the address of the Travel Plaza on Minnesota 60.

Agents intercepted the package at UPS and had the Murray County K9 unit do a drug sniff. When the dog indicated the presence of drugs, a search warrant was obtained and the package opened. Inside were four yellow packages, each containing zipper bags of marijuana. The total weight of the drugs was more than four pounds.

An undercover agent tried to deliver the package at the Travel Plaza, but a female employee said there was no one there by the name Peter and refused it. The agent left a card with a phone number for Peter to call if he wanted the package delivered.

On Monday, the agent received a phone call from a man who identified himself as Peter. The man said he had been given a card and told to call about his package. He told the agent the package could be delivered between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. the following day.

A controlled delivery of the package was made Tuesday, and two agents were already in the store when they observed the undercover agent enter the business with it. There were two men and some women behind the counter. The agent went to the counter and asked for Peter, and one of the males --later identified as Sysavath -- stepped forward and took the package. He started walking toward the back of the store when task force agents stopped him and asked him to step outside.

Sysavath told the agents he signs for packages all the time at the business and did not know why he was being placed under arrest.

During an interview, he initially denied any involvement with the package other than signing for it. He said it was common practice to accept all packages delivered to the Travel Plaza. He later told agents he had received a call from Peter about the package, but denied that Insixiengmay had any involvement. The agents had found text messages on Sysavath's phone from Insixiengmay, who also works at the business.

Eventually, Sysavath allegedly admitted Insixiengmay had told him there would be a package delivered for him and asked him to sign for it if he was not there. Sysavath initially said he did not know what was in the package, but later admitted he knew it was marijuana. Sysavath allegedly stated Insixiengmay has marijuana shipped to him, but was not sure where it came from.

An agent called Insixiengmay and asked him to stop by the law enforcement center after his work shift ended. When Insixiengmay came by later that afternoon, he told agents employees accept packages for others but denied knowing about the package Sysavath had signed for.

Insixiengmay later allegedly stated he was aware the package to be delivered to Peter contained marijuana and was supposed to be there the previous week. He said he had been working when the package was delivered and knew it was to arrive because he was the person that called UPS to make arrangements for delivery.

Insixiengmay said he does not sell the marijuana, but uses it personally or gives it to others for no charge. He claimed Sysavath had nothing to do with the marijuana delivery and that the package was for him only.

Bail was set for both men Thursday -- $5,000 for Insixiengmay and $1,500 for Sysavath -- and both were granted public defenders. As of Friday morning, both men had been released from the Nobles County Jail.