There’s a new trend emerging in the illegal drug trade, and it’s probably not what you think. The eCommerce boom has created a massive paradigm shift across every single industry…including the illegal drug market. Nowadays, drug dealers are using the dark web to sell their products, and once they’ve made a sale, they send their drugs in the mail. Thankfully, the United States Postal Inspection Service is directing more attention and resources to the growing problem!
What is the Postal Inspection Service?
The United States Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the US Postal Service. The agency is tasked with protecting USPS, and defines its jurisdiction as “crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S. Mail, the postal system or postal employees.”
Interestingly enough, the Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest forms of law enforcement in the United States! The agency can trace its roots back to 1772, when the first Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin appointed a “surveyor” to regulate and audit the mail. As time and commerce evolved, the Postal Inspection Service’s duties and responsibilities have had to shift, as well. Now, one of their biggest fights is cracking down against illegal drugs in the mail.
The New Trend of Sending Drugs in the Mail
There’s no question that over the past few years, online drug traffickers are sending an increasing amount of contraband in the mail. However, the United States Postal Inspection Service has been responding accordingly and cracking down. In fact, according to a 2018 report by the Office of the Inspector General, the Postal Inspection Service saw an 1000% increase in international package seizures and a 750% surge in domestic package seizures just between 2016 and 2018! Nevertheless, the online drug trade continues to boom. While these statistics are impressive, the numbers are enough to make anyone wonder just how much illegal substances pass through the mail every single day.
The billion-dollar question behind this whole thing is: don’t these people get caught when they send drugs in the mail? The short answer is yes…and no. The United States Postal Inspection Service does in fact have methods and technology to identify narcotics within packages, and they catch quite a good amount of contraband. However, USPS delivers millions of packages a day. The Postal Inspection Service can’t realistically catch every illegal piece of mail that passes through USPS’ system, even if they had all the manpower in the world.
Shipping Drugs in the Mail is Very, Very Illegal
Remember: Shipping School in no way condones the shipment or usage of illegal drugs! Narcotics are very much illegal, and attempting to ship it is a federal offense! Also, even with all the new statewide legalizations, you still can’t ship marijuana or cannabis products. As for now, the Postal Inspection service will continue cracking down on illegal shipments containing drugs. So…unless you want a roll the dice and chance a one-way ticket to federal prison, don’t even think about it!