Jeff Fenech unwittingly received packages containing drugs from alleged US trafficking group, court documents claim

<span>Australian boxing great Jeff Fenech was unwittingly caught up in an alleged US drug trafficking operation, according to court documents.</span><span>Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP</span>
Australian boxing great Jeff Fenech was unwittingly caught up in an alleged US drug trafficking operation, according to court documents.Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

The Australian boxing champion Jeff Fenech was the unwitting recipient of packages containing narcotics as part of an alleged drug trafficking organisation that operated between Los Angeles and Australia, according to US court documents.

No charges have been laid against him and his lawyer maintained he was not a suspect for any criminal offence.

Fenech, a four-time world boxing champion, was named in an affidavit filed in the US district court of California in charges laid against a man named Moustapha Moustapha.

Moustapha, who has been charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, is allegedly a member of what the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) calls the Moustapha DTO (drug trafficking organisation). He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The Moustapha DTO allegedly operated by coordinating the purchase of narcotics in the Los Angeles area and then shipping them to Australia to a number of people.

According to an affidavit filed in February by a special agent with the DEA, Fenech was allegedly an intended recipient for an unspecified number of deliveries among “24 packages containing 26kgs of suspected cocaine and methamphetamine”.

The affidavit did not allege that Fenech was part of the Moustapha DTO.

The packages allegedly sent to Fenech and others were intercepted by the Australian federal police in December, the affidavit says.

According to a US drug enforcement special agent based in Australia, after the interception, the AFP conducted an undercover package delivery at Fenech’s residence in the Sydney suburb of Five Dock on 20 December.

“After dropping the package off at the residence, AFP observed Fenech pick up the package. After witnessing Fenech pick up the package, AFP executed search warrants at the residence … and interviewed Fenech.”

The agent alleged that in the interview: “Fenech stated that he’d been collecting packages for an extended period of time … Fenech stated that he believed that the packages contained luxury watches and was unaware that the packages contained drugs.”

Fenech’s lawyer said Fenech was not a suspect for any criminal offence and no criminal charges had been laid or foreshadowed against him. He did not respond to a request for further comment.

The court documents allege the charges against Moustapha filed on 13 February came after an investigation in New South Wales targeting a “drug and money laundering syndicate with direct connections to the United States”.

Australian law enforcement provided the DEA with text messages allegedly from various members of the Moustapha DTO coordinating the shipment of narcotics using electronic devices, along with forensic reports, the documents allege.

The AFP declined to comment on the case.

Moustapha’s Malibu home was searched on 1 February, the affidavit said, which allegedly resulted in the DEA seizing 90kg of suspected methamphetamine, 1kg of cocaine, a large amount of US currency and six firearms.

At the time of the search Moustapha fled, the affidavit alleged. He was arrested at an Airbnb on 12 February, but according to the court complaint he “violently resisted arrest and injured two federal agents, including biting one of the arresting agents”.

Moustapha remains in custody in the US, awaiting trial.