NEWSROOM

The flow of fentanyl: In the mail, over the border

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2019/08/23/fentanyl-flowed-through-us-postal-service-vehicles-crossing-southern-border/

THE WASHINGTON POST
AUGUST 23, 2019

By Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham

Chinese drug traffickers had some advice for American buyers of fentanyl: Let us ship it to you by regular mail. It might be slower than FedEx or UPS, but the opioid is much more likely to reach its destination through the U.S. Postal Service. These cyber drug dealers wrote their U.S.-based customers — in emails later uncovered by federal investigators — that private delivery companies electronically tracked packages, allowing the easy identification of mail from suspect addresses and creating a bright trail connecting sellers and buyers of illegal fentanyl.

The Postal Service for years did not institute similar safeguards — and that gaping hole in the nation’s borders has not been fully closed despite legislation compelling its elimination. Fifteen percent of all packages from China are still not electronically tracked, and the figure rises to 40 percent for all packages from around the world entering the United States.