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.

 

COMBATTING 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.

POSTAL INSPECTORS
Postal Inspectors across the country work every day to protect postal employees and the American public by leading the effort to eliminate drugs and contraband in the U.S. Mail, both foreign and domestic. This goal is achieved by prohibiting mail containing illegal items, investigating criminal activity, and dismantling the Dark Web which allows drug dealers to sell their goods through an internet connection.

STATE AND LOCAL PARTNERS
During Fiscal Year 2020, the Postal Inspection Service created a standardized nationwide Task Force Officer (TFO) program. TFOs are typically state and local police officers who are embedded with Postal Inspectors to enhance advance interdictions and investigations by providing access to local intelligence and networks.

FEDERAL PARTNERS
The Postal Inspection Service collaborates with its federal partners, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in developing and implementing the National Drug Control Strategy. This strategy is used by the federal government to reduce the availability of these drugs in the United States through law enforcement and cooperation with international partners and eliminate the negative effects that drug trafficking has on the safety of the nation.

GLOBAL PARTNERS
Postal Inspectors utilize multiple avenues to stem the flow of illicit drugs from entering the country through cooperation and coordination with foreign postal operators: the Universal Postal Union (UPU); the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC); the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB); and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol).

VIEW FULL DRUG STRATEGY

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