Senate report uncovers USPS, CBP flaws contributing to fentanyl trafficking

Chelsea West
January 27, 2018

A new Senate report reveals how easy it is to purchase illegal, mail-order opioids from China, which federal authorities have identified as the major source of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids overwhelming the USA market.

Postal and Customs authorities must do a better job at screening global mail shipments for opioids arriving in the United States via "Express Mail", Sen.

The announcement by China came after congressional investigators found that Chinese opioid manufacturers exploit weak screening in the postal service to ship large quantities of illegal drugs to American dealers. He said 18 people who received drugs tracked by his committee faced criminal charges - and seven died of an overdose.

The Senate probe was carried out by Republican Senator Rob Portman of OH, the subcommittee chairman, and Senator Tom Carper of DE, the panel's senior Democrat.

The report stated that the U.S. Postal Service has failed to implement some of the available high-tech methods of detection to forestall these illegal opioid shipments.

"The Postal Service will continue to work tirelessly to address this serious societal issue", spokesman David Partenheimer said in a statement.

The Senate probe matches numerous findings of a 2016 investigation by The Associated Press that detailed unchecked production in China of some of the world's most risky drugs.

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"The sellers offered "flash sales" and discounts when the investigators appeared to hesitate, and even tried to "upsell" by offering deals on carfentanil, which authorities say is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl", the report said.

Researchers on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations also contacted Chinese sellers directly.

Investigators traced the online sellers to seven USA opioid deaths and 18 drug arrests.

A law enforcement staff shows confiscated heroin before burning it in the headquarters of the Drug Control Agency in Dushanbe May 30, 2008.

Those gaps are allowing Chinese vendors to sell mass-produced fentanyl online, and then ship it internationally. A day later, the MI man died of an overdose from drugs, including a chemical similar to fentanyl.

Synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl are the top driver (20,145 fatalities) behind the unprecedented 64,070 drug overdose deaths past year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Portman. "These 300 people were located in 43 states, with individuals in my home state of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida sending the most money to the online sellers". "The federal government can, and must, act to shore up our defenses against this deadly drug and help save lives".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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