Tags: rob portman | crackdown | international mail shipments | opioids

Lawmaker Calls for Crackdown on International Mail Shipments of Opioids

Image: Lawmaker Calls for Crackdown on International Mail Shipments of Opioids
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By    |   Thursday, 25 January 2018 01:39 PM

Postal and Customs authorities must do a better job at screening international mail shipments for opioids arriving in the United States via "Express Mail," Sen. Rob Portman told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday.

"The problem is the P.O. Box in America that gets a shipment through our postal service straight from China," the Ohio Republican told CBS News. "There is no requirement for any electronic data in advance to be able to tip off law enforcement."

CBS said U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 180 pounds of fentanyl last year — a new record. But that's probably just a fraction of total drug shipments, and Portman says the increasing volume of international mail has overwhelmed screeners.

Portman said he and a team of investigators tracked the opioid mail trade for nearly a year, starting with a Google search that turned up a slew of drug sellers willing to do business.

Portman told CBS a separate probe of shipping and payment data found 500 apparently successful deliveries of opioids nationwide, totaling about $250,000. All came from China and used the U.S. Postal Service's Express Mail Service.

The Postal Service is supposed to work with Customs and Border Protection to stop the flow of international drugs, but Portman said the job is hampered by poor coordination and volume.

Portman wants to require that every package headed to the U.S. include automated data with the sender's name and address. He said 18 people who received drugs tracked by his committee faced criminal charges — and seven died of an overdose.

"When that 49-year-old man outside of Cleveland, Ohio, dies of an overdose of fentanyl within a couple of weeks of getting his delivery, you realize we're not doing our job," Portman said.

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Postal and Customs authorities must do a better job at screening international mail shipments for opioids arriving in the United States via "Express Mail," Sen. Rob Portman told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday.
rob portman, crackdown, international mail shipments, opioids
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2018-39-25
Thursday, 25 January 2018 01:39 PM
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