Authorities arrested three people after around 600 Amazon packages were dumped in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said the three suspects were tied to a massive Amazon theft ring involving thousands of dollars worth of products.
On Dec. 30, Oklahoma County deputies responded to a report of illegal dumping off of an intersection in a remote area of the county. Deputies found about 600 empty Amazon packages dumped on the ground and a garbage bag containing an envelope with an address and a receipt from a local store, according to a news release.
Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office investigators issued a search warrant at a home in Luther, Oklahoma, about 30 miles outside Oklahoma City, where officials said they found thousands of undelivered Amazon packages. Some of the packages were still wrapped on pallets.
Authorities said packages were stored throughout the home in almost every room and filled the storm shelter, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff's office said a man was working as a third-party driver for Amazon, delivering packages using a truck owned by a woman. Investigators believe the driver might have loaded extra pallets onto the truck and brought them to the Luther home, where officials said they were opened.
Law enforcement also arrested a third person in connection with the scheme.
"Our investigations team and patrol deputies did an amazing job," Sheriff Tommie Johnson III said in the news release. "It would have been easy to write this off as an illegal dumping case, but our deputies recognize this was much more serious and contacted investigators. Our investigators quickly identified a suspect and followed through to bring this case to a successful conclusion."
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said the three suspects face 15 felony counts of possession of stolen property and embezzlement. One of the suspects was arrested on a complaint of possession of a dangerous substance (meth).
"We are thankful for the quick investigative work of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and are committed to taking care of any customers who may have been impacted by this criminal activity," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a news release. "Customers missing packages are encouraged to report any delays to Amazon customer service so we can work quickly to make it right."
Sister station KOCO has chosen not to release the suspects’ names at this time because formal charges have not been filed.