ASAP Applauds Justice Department’s AlphaBay Takedown, Urges Further Action to Address Drug Trafficking through Mail

Security Gap in Global Postal System Allows Deadly Synthetic Drugs from Abroad into Local Communities

Washington, D.C. – Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department and law enforcement officials announced the successful takedown of the dark web drug trafficking website AlphaBay, which listed over 250,000 illegal drugs and toxic chemicals on its site. Attorney General Sessions’ remarks highlighted the pressing danger posed by the current loophole in the global postal system in coordination with the dark web. He noted that, “we know of several Americans who were killed by drugs sold on Alpha Bay. One victim was just 18 years old when, in February, she overdosed on a powerful synthetic opioid, which she had bought on AlphaBay. The drug was shipped right to her house through the mail.”

Every day, over one million packages enter the country through the global postal system without important advance electronic security data that allows law enforcement officials to screen and stop high risk packages containing drugs, counterfeit goods and other dangerous materials.

“We applaud the Justice Department and other law enforcement officials in their successful efforts to bring down this dangerous operation, which will no doubt save American lives,” said Governor Tom Ridge, senior advisor to ASAP. “As we continue to work to keep deadly synthetic opioids out of the country, we must also cut off the ability for these drugs to come through the global postal system without the proper data that authorities rely upon to screen and stop these packages.”

“Dark web drug markets have been responsible for the loss of far too many American lives,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to ASAP. “We need to close the postal loophole so that criminals can no longer easily ship this poison to our families and neighbors.”

President Trump acknowledged the importance of closing the postal loophole and stated that his administration would “crack down on the abuse of the loopholes in the Postal Service to literally mail fentanyl and other drugs to users and dealers in the United States.” Bipartisan legislation in Congress, the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, would also help close the loophole by requiring all mail shipped through foreign postal services to include vital electronic security data.