Inspection Service Home Page NEWS RELEASE
UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE
National Public Information Officer


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2009

Contact: Postal Inspector Peter R. Rendina, 202-268-3700, ISMediainquiries@uspis.gov

Postal Inspectors Warn:
The Lure of Easy Money May Send You to Jail

Quick and easy cash for simply mailing or receiving a few packages? Sounds too good to be true — and it is.

Criminals are taking advantage of difficult economic times to lure participants into their schemes, sometimes unwittingly. Specifically, drug trafficking organizations are soliciting cash-strapped individuals to facilitate the transfer of illegal narcotics.

Often people who are sending or receiving parcels for others don’t even know what is inside the packages they are handling. That is no excuse. Postal Inspectors warn that ignorance is not bliss; if you participate, even unknowingly, in mailing or receiving illegal substances, you are part of the conspiracy and will face the legal consequences.

It is a federal offense to send drugs through the U.S. Mail. Since 2005 Postal Inspectors have arrested nearly 6,000 suspects for using the U.S. Mail to transport illegal drugs and the proceeds of drug sales. During those drug investigations, Inspectors also seized about $26 million in drug money.

Like prohibited drugs, counterfeit drugs are another problem for Americans — and sometimes a deadly one, since there’s no guarantee that drugs ordered from unregulated sources won’t kill you. Many companies illegally advertise and ship over-the-counter and prescription drugs, which often pose health risks from contaminants, improper dosages and other factors.

“Postal Inspectors will continue to keep illegal, immoral and unsafe items out of the U.S. Mail," said Chief Postal Inspector William R. Gilligan, Jr.. “Postal Inspectors are charged with the mission to protect the Postal Service’s employees, customers and infrastructure, secure the nation’s mail system, and ensure public trust in the mail. We have been carrying out this mission for over 200 years and will continue to do so.”

Many Postal Inspection Service cases originate from a tip. Anyone who has information about illegal drugs being sent or received through the U.S. Mail can call the Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455.

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About the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the country. For more than 200 years, Postal Inspectors have protected the U.S. Postal Service, secured the nationís mail system, and ensured public trust in the mail. To learn more, visit http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov.


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