What happens when USPS finds drugs in your packages?
In this article, you’ll learn about:
Let’s dig in.
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?
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?
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:
Related: How Many People Are In Jail For Weed
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:
This is the same across the board for weed laws.
Related: Is Weed Legal In Tennessee?
The penalties for sending concentrates in the mail are up to:
Sending weed in the mail gets you drug trafficking charges.
Under federal laws, drug trafficking charges for mailing weed are up to:
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.
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:
If someone mails you drugs and a law enforcement agency finds it, they will either:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
If they see these issues, they will “intercept” the packages.
Then, they will physically and visually scan them.
You will know if your package was intercepted if your USPS tracking says:
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” 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:
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:
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.
When a drug package gets seized by law enforcement in USPS, what happens?
There are two scenarios where your USPS package was seized by law enforcement.
Let’s say you sent cannabis through the U.S. mail and it was seized by law enforcement.
In this case:
Let’s say that you were not mailing illegal substances.
In this case, you need to have your defense attorney:
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.
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.
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