Delivering Justice to Opioid dealers

USPIS is committed to stopping fentanyl traffickers with the most advanced technology available. Discover how our inspectors are using data, forensics, and citizens’ tips to protect Americans and apprehend opioid dealers who send illegal drugs through the mail.

Our Success By the Numbers

2,221 arrests in FY2020 involving drug trafficking using the U.S. Mail.
124,000 pounds of illegal narcotics and nearly $39 million in illegal proceeds seized in FY2020.
914 Synthetic Opioids Seizures by USPIS FY 2017 - 2019
592 pounds of Synthetic Opioids Seized by USPIS FY 2017 - 2019
94% increase in Domestic Synthetic Opioids Seized by USPIS FY 2017 - 2019

Innovations

Data Unleashed

USPIS Cyber and Analytics group combines sophisticated technology to predict patterns and discover insights. These models allow us to crunch huge data sets with more accuracy, and rapidly boost seizure rates – even when offenders develop new tactics.

Real-time Intelligence

To enhance our targeting efforts, we’ve linked our local, national, and international partners as well as standardized our tracking technologies. This enables us to share real-time data with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Fusion Center, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Accelerated Interceptions

We employ a robust, automated sorting process at all International Service Centers to quickly track a higher volume of packages. Shared parcel sorting machines help USPIS and CBP work together to facilitate holds and intercepts.

Advance Electronic Data

USPIS is working with CBP and foreign postal operators to ensure Advance Electronic Data inside barcodes is on all inbound mail. The detailed information in AED, like full names and addresses, weight, date, and more can be instantly captured in both outgoing and incoming processing centers. Better data means quicker interceptions.

Rapid Substance Identification

New high-tech analyzers help USPIS field divisions quickly and safely scan for unknown and illegal drugs, like fentanyl. Now inspectors can test over 300 illicit substances without needing to open containers or plastic bags.

State-of-the-Art Forensics

USPIS operates its own world-class National Forensic Laboratory with some of the best forensic scientists and analysts in the field. Every day, they examine a myriad of evidence from fingerprints and DNA to narcotics and dark web activity. Annually, these specialists examine around 275,000 items, identifying an average of 900 suspects.

Opioids

Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Takedown

Between August 2018 and November 2020, Postal Inspectors in Pennsylvania worked with partners at the FBI, DEA and multiple state and local law enforcement agencies to bring a total of 30 indictments against members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club for violations including narcotics trafficking and firearm possession. The defendants included high-ranking members of the club, who oversaw a violent trafficking ring selling cocaine, methamphetamine, heron, fentanyl, marijuana and other illegal drugs across western Pennsylvania. In some cases, members of the motorcycle club used the Dark Web to facilitate narcotics shipments through the U.S. Mail. The complex Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation included three months of court-authorized Title III wiretaps of phones linked to several defendants

Dark Web Narcotics

Operation DisrupTor

In 2020, USPIS played a major role in a worldwide effort to dismantle narcotics traffickers on the Dark Web in Operation DisrupTor.  As an integral member of JCODE (Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement), the Inspection Service worked with federal law enforcement partners and Europol to target criminals who sell and ship narcotics  and other dangerous goods around the world by exploiting the U.S. Mail and express consignment carriers.  This coordinated operation led to a total 179 arrests, the seizure of dozens of weapons, hundreds of kilograms of narcotics and over $6.5 million. READ PRESS RELEASE

Silk Road 2.0

Next Stop, Prison

After deleting the original Silk Road from the dark web, USPIS again joined a multiagency probe to prevent Silk Road 2.0 from taking its place. With their help, the mastermind behind this new marketplace was arrested, convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. Before being shut down, Silk Road 2.0 was shipping hundreds of kilos of illegal drugs, including opioids, around the world. That’s 150,000 active users generating $8 million/month driven off the road.

Peter the Great

Data Takes Down “Peter The Great”

After synthetic opioids killed an Oregon woman, USPIS was alerted by authorities. Analytics uncovered evidence that the deceased’s mail was connected to a dark web vendor called “Peter the Great.” The resulting investigation led to the interception of over 130 more shipments from the suspect. Following the data trail, authorities descended on his residence and arrested him. Their search revealed a clandestine lab and more than 40 pounds of illegal drugs, including synthetic opioids.

MDD

From: Hong Kong
To: No One

Suspicious shipments from Hong Kong sender “MDD” were identified by U.S. Postal Inspectors. Sharing intelligence and coordinating with authorities overseas, 275 more mailings were seized, all containing illegal drugs or controlled substances – leading to the seizure of one kilogram of fentanyl. This bust alone could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives – because a lethal dosage of fentanyl can be as low as 2 milligrams.

LA Gangs

Cracking Hollywood’s Dark Web Market

After busting a local resident who received illegal drugs, law enforcement in Quitman, Arkansas, alerted USPIS. The evidence trail led them to Los Angeles County, where they worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to hunt down the source. Quickly, they discovered and shut down two separate LA area drug rings that were using dark web markets to distribute illegal substances.

Doggfood

Fingerprint Fail

Investigating an overdose-related package with a coalition of U.S.-based agencies, USPIS in Maryland and Arkansas soon discovered fingerprints on related mail from a Pikesville, MD, resident. When authorities searched his home, they recovered a laptop used to run dark web vendor “DoggFood,” a firearm, and over 100 grams of illegal drugs.

AlphaBay

Closing The Largest Underground Drug Bazaar

Taking down Alphabay, the biggest marketplace on the dark web since Silk Road, was a massive undertaking. USPIS joined law enforcement in Thailand and five other countries to shut down this illicit drug empire that had more than $1 billion in transactions. Alphabay previously hosted 200,000 users, 40,000 vendors, and had nearly 250 places to buy heroin, opioids, and other illegal drugs.

Wall Street Market

Dark Web
Stocks Crash

USPIS teamed up with domestic and international law enforcement to take out Wall Street Market in 2019. Cooperating with law enforcement in the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, agents arrested and charged three men as the masterminds behind the online underground bazaar. At the time, Wall Street Market had 5,400 vendors selling and shipping illegal drugs, including opioids, to 1.5 million customers.

COMBATING ILLICIT DRUGS IN THE MAIL:
USPS DRUG STRATEGY

Winning the battle against illicit drugs in the mail is a top priority for the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

VIEW FULL DRUG STRATEGY PAGE

Addiction Help

The mission of the Inspection Service is protecting the American people and the U.S. Mail from illicit drug activity. USPIS is also committed to crime prevention and victim assistance. If you or someone you know is in need of addiction treatment, please contact the National Helpline:
1-800-662-4357 (1-800-662-HELP)
samhsa.gov

Find treatment near you:
FindTreatment.gov

More resources:
hhs.gov/opioids

Report a Crime

Help us end the opioid epidemic. If you know someone who’s mailing illegal drugs or has received them, alert Postal Inspectors. You can help save lives.

Call Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455