The Hive Law

What Happens When USPS Finds Drugs?

What Happens When USPS Finds Drugs - What Happens If USPS Finds Drugs In A Package - Can You Mail Weed Legally

What happens when USPS finds drugs in your packages?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • penalties for receiving drugs
  • what happens when you ship weed, edibles, prescription drugs, etc?
  • will you get hit with federal drug trafficking charges?
  • how to know if your package has been seized
  • how the police will deliver your package if it’s been seized
  • do they need search warrants to bust you?

Let’s dig in.

Get A FREE Consultation!
We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)

What Happens When USPS Finds Drugs In A Package?

When USPS finds drugs in a package, they will seize that package.

USPS can “intercept” a package that they feel is suspicious.

USPS requires a warrant based on probable cause to search a package for drugs.

Once they have intercepted it, they will contact law enforcement to come to check it out.

Law enforcement will bring drug dogs to determine if USPS found drugs in a package.

Once the dog determines there are drugs in the package, the police will get a warrant.

This warrant allows police officers to open your package.

Your tracking information will get updated to say “Package Seized By Law Enforcement.”

Related: What States Is Weed Legal In?

What Happens When USPS Finds Weed In The Mail?

USPS cannot legally open your package even if they think they found weed in the mail.

The Fourth Amendment protects the rights of the people.

Mainly “to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

This means that if USPS finds weed in the mail, they can’t just open your package.

For USPS, first-class letters and packages are protected under the Fourth Amendment.

This means that postal inspectors cannot search or seize first-class packages.

But, let’s say that the postal inspector believes that you are mailing drugs in a package.

They can request a search warrant to open suspicious packages.

(But private companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL can reserve the right to open packages.)

Related: Is Weed Legal In Florida?

What Happens If You Get Caught Mailing Weed

When you get caught mailing weed, you are breaking federal laws.

If you get caught mailing weed, you will get up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

When you get caught mailing weed, the potential federal laws that you may break are:

  • marijuana trafficking
  • misuse of mail
  • mailing of injurious articles
  • conspiracy

(i.e., FedEx can get considered as a co-conspirator if they get caught mailing weed.)

Related: How Many People Are In Jail For Weed

Caught Shipping Edibles

If you are caught shipping edibles, you will get the same charges as if you’re shipping weed.

Penalties if you get caught shipping edibles are based on weight.

In most states, weed and edible penalties fall under different weights for penalties.

It generally takes a lot less weight for edibles to get felony charges at a state level.

For example, in North Carolina:

  • 42 g of weed is a felony
  • 4.25 g of edibles is a felony

This is the same across the board for weed laws.

Related: Is Weed Legal In Tennessee?

Penalties For Mailing Edibles

The penalties for mailing edibles, according to US Code 841 (Section D), are up to:

  • 5 years in prison
  • a $250,000 fine

Sending Concentrates In The Mail

The penalties for sending concentrates in the mail are up to:

  • 5 years in prison
  • a $250,000 fine

Can You Mail Weed Legally?

No, you cannot mail weed legally.

USPS prohibits mailing weed legally.

And, it’s against state and federal laws.

You will get charged with felony drug trafficking for mailing weed.

Sending Weed In The Mail Punishment

Sending weed in the mail gets you drug trafficking charges.

Under federal laws, drug trafficking charges for mailing weed are up to:

  • 1,000+ kg (2,200 pounds of marijuana): 10 years – life in jail
  • 50 – 1,000 kg of marijuana: 5 – 40 years in jail
  • 50 kg or less of marijuana: 5 years in jail

What Is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking is the selling, transporting, or importing of illegal drugs.

Drug trafficking is also considered the “distribution of controlled substances.”

Mailing any type of drug is drug trafficking.

Can I Get In Trouble If Someone Mailed Me Drugs?

Yes, you can get in trouble if someone mails you drugs.

You can get felony charges at the state level and federal levels for receiving drugs.

You can get in trouble if someone mails you drugs if:

  • the package is in your name
  • the package is not in your name, but you accept the package

If someone mails you drugs and a law enforcement agency finds it, they will either:

  • seize it and have USPS send you a letter to come in to get the package
  • do a controlled delivery of the contraband

Penalty For Receiving Drugs In The Mail

The penalty for receiving drugs in the mail is drug trafficking charges.

Let’s say you are receiving drugs in the mail from an “out-of-state” sender.

In this case, the drug packages DID cross state lines.

And both federal and state laws will apply to your drug trafficking charges.

Under federal laws, drug trafficking charges for marijuana are up to:

  • 1,000+ kg (2,200 pounds of marijuana): 10 years – life in jail
  • 50 – 1,000 kg of marijuana: 5 – 40 years in jail
  • 50 kg or less of marijuana: 5 years in jail

These will all be felony charges.

Let’s say you are receiving drugs in the mail from an “in-state” sender.

In this case, the drug packages did not cross state lines.

And only state laws will apply to your drug trafficking charges.

State-level laws depend on the state.

Check out marijuana legalities by the state to see your local weed laws.

Chances Of Getting Caught Mailing Weed

Your chances of getting caught mailing weed depend on how well it’s packaged.

Everyone believes that they are the best at hiding the smell of weed.

You should assume that the chances of getting caught mailing weed are high.

Here are some things that USPS looks for:

  • package or envelope with suspicious leaks, stains, or powdered substances
  • the package is rigid, bulky, or has excessive tape or string
  • poor handwriting, misspellings, improperly addressed
  • excessive postage, no postage, or no/strange return address
  • ticking, vibration, abnormal sounds, strange odors
  • generic addressee and restrictive markings
  • unexpected and from someone unfamiliar
  • irregular placement of package or item

Can You Mail Prescription Drugs

Yes, you can mail prescription drugs.

But it is not legal to mail prescription drugs.

You will get charged with illicit drug trafficking of Schedule 3 or 4 narcotics.

Can You Ship Prescription Drugs Through USPS?

No, you cannot ship prescription drugs through USPS.

Only Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered distributors can ship prescriptions.

Any individual shipping prescriptions will get charged with drug trafficking.

Is It Illegal To Mail Prescription Drugs?

Yes, it is illegal to mail prescription drugs.

You are breaking state and federal laws when mailing prescription drugs.

You can get felonies for drug trafficking if you are mailing prescription drugs.

What's The Penalty For Mailing Prescription Drugs?

The penalty for mailing prescription drugs is very heavy.

Under federal laws, drug trafficking charges for prescription drugs are up to:

  • 5 – 10 years in jail
  • $500,000 in fines

What Happens If USPS Finds Drugs In A Package?

This is from a Former Postmaster from USPS, who says:

“Postal Inspectors may not open mail while it is considered mail.

Mail defined is any item that is accepted into the mail stream.

Then it is delivered.

At delivery, the mail piece is now not considered mail.

It is considered to be private property belonging to the addressee.

It is at the point of delivery that Postal Inspectors have a search warrant.

And when they will open criminally classified mail.”

Does USPS Xray Packages?

Yes, USPS does X-ray packages.

But, they only X-ray packages going into the Washington, D.C. area.

This is to avoid dangerous packages getting into government buildings.

Does USPS Scan Packages For Drugs?

USPS does scan your packages for drugs.

But, USPS does not scan your packages for drugs with a machine.

USPS DOES X-ray packages, but that’s only packages going into the Washington, D.C. area.

USPS will scan your packages for drugs visually.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Services look for irregular mail packages with issues like:

  • package or envelope with suspicious leaks, stains, or powdered substances
  • the package is rigid, bulky, or has excessive tape or string
  • poor handwriting, misspellings, improperly addressed
  • excessive postage, no postage, or no/strange return address
  • ticking, vibration, abnormal sounds, strange odors
  • generic addressee and restrictive markings
  • unexpected and from someone unfamiliar
  • irregular placement of package or item

If they see these issues, they will “intercept” the packages.

Then, they will physically and visually scan them.

How Do I Know If My Package Was Intercepted?

You will know if your package was intercepted if your USPS tracking says:

  • “held for mailability determination”
  • “Seized By Law Enforcement”

Either scenario means that your package was intercepted by the postal inspector.

If you are shipping illegal items, they may have reached out to a law enforcement agency.

That law enforcement agency will be able to acquire a search warrant for your mail packages.

If you are not shipping illegal items, then it was “intercepted” for mailability determination.

Held For Mailability Determination

“Held for mailability determination” means that USPS is holding your package.

Most likely, something was “off” with your package and they have set it aside.

USPS holds packages to general standards.

These general standards are things like:

  • no oddly shaped packages in a paper envelop
  • no packages with leaking liquids
  • no aerosol cans getting shipped
  • no heavy tools in small, incorrect packages
  • types of tape getting used

What happens if your USPS tracking says “held for mailability determination?”

The post office’s postal inspector has set your package aside.

If they deem does not meet mailability standards, they will either:

  • dispose of the package
  • send the package back to the sender

What Will Tracking Say If A Package Has Been Seized?

Let’s say that your package has been seized by law enforcement.

Your USPS tracking will say “Seized By Law Enforcement.”

(Yes, they make it this obvious.)

USPS will send you a letter telling you that they couldn’t deliver your package.

And that if you want to come into the store to pick it up, feel free to do so.

DO NOT go into USPS to pick up seized drug packages from the post office.

USPS Tracking Seized By Law Enforcement

When a drug package gets seized by law enforcement in USPS, what happens?

What To Do If Your USPS Package Seized By Law Enforcement?

There are two scenarios where your USPS package was seized by law enforcement.

  • you were mailing illegal substances through the United States Postal Service
  • you were NOT mailing illegal substances

Let’s say you sent cannabis through the U.S. mail and it was seized by law enforcement.

In this case:

  • do not go to USPS to pick up the package (even if they ask you to)
  • do not accept delivery attempts of this package
  • fill out the form on this page to talk to a defense attorney for a free consultation in case you get criminal charges

Let’s say that you were not mailing illegal substances.

In this case, you need to have your defense attorney:

  • File a Petition
  • Investigate the case (for your defense)
  • Settle negotiations with law enforcement agencies
  • Defend you in a trial (if necessary)

If a drug package was seized by law enforcement, fill out the form on this page.

Our criminal defense law firms can defend you against drug trafficking charges.

Will The Police Deliver The Seized USPS Package?

Yes, police will deliver a seized USPS package.

This technique is called a “controlled delivery.”

Police use controlled deliveries to secure evidence against drug traffickers.

This will be your local law enforcement agency and the DEA (drug enforcement administration).

It’s both agencies because you’re mailing controlled substances through the postal service.

The postal service is a federal agency and you’re shipping drugs across state lines.

These automatically make mailing drugs in a package felony drug trafficking charges.

What Happens When USPS Finds Drugs?

If you want the best criminal defense attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

This means you don’t spend:

  • 10s of thousands more in fees than you have to
  • needless years in jail

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

Get A FREE Consultation!
We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)
Share This Post With Someone Who Needs To See It