Synthetic opioids seized in U.S. mail increased 10x in 5 years
But in 2019, the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy identified the U.S. Mail as the most common distribution medium for fentanyl entering the U.S. and moving domestically to its end users.
“The chemicals are derived from China, shipped into Mexico, where the laboratories are then producing what we see is straight fentanyl powder, and/or a lot of what we’re starting to see are pressed pills,” Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Mike Furgason said. “We see them come from areas along the border because it’s easily brought into the United States from across the U.S. border and then shipped throughout the United States.”
We asked Tampa-based U.S. Postal Inspector Damien Kraebel why the U.S. Mail is more attractive to drug traffickers than other shipping entities.
“We’re seeing a trend away from the U.S. Mail being a source for foreign influx. That’s not to say that it isn’t present in domestic mail. The reason – one obvious reason why the U.S. Mail might be more satisfying or more helpful for drug traffickers is, if I want to open a package, and you’re a drug dealer who has put this in the mail and you don’t want me to open that package, I need to go to a federal judge and convince them to issue a search warrant,” Kraebel said.