All came from China and used the U.S. Postal Service's Express Mail Service. "We stand ready to work with the U.S.to enhance our coordination in this field".
"Just from these six websites, we identified more than 500 payments to online sellers by more than 300 Americans totaling $230,000, most of which occurred over the last two years", noted Sen.
The U.S. government has determined that China is "the primary source of fentanyl in the United States". "We discovered it is shockingly easy - all we had to do to was search 'fentanyl for sale.' That simple search returned hundreds of websites, many affiliated with Chinese labs, all openly advertising illegal drugs". Almost 40 per 100,000 people in the state now die from a drug-related overdoses in OH, due to the influx of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and its analogs.
"It's not just a situation where people are using too much of something and dying", Collins said in an earlier interview. They were able to tie the six retailers to at least seven overdose deaths. This illicit drug trade has essentially found sufficient loopholes in a government service that has failed to fully implement an electronic data system that will help detect suspicious shipments.
A few weeks ago, President Trump signed legislation to supply $9 million worth of chemical screening devices and laboratory equipment to ports, airports, and global mail facilities in an effort to help Customs and Border Protection officers screen worldwide mail more efficiently. Data in the Senate report shows no significant improvement during 2017 despite the urgency. "Agencies like the Postal Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the State Department must redouble their efforts to keep illicit opioids from reaching our shores".
However, postal service officials have noted that they've gotten better at vetting questionable shipments, as they will "continue to work tirelessly to address this serious societal issue", according to spokesman David Partenheimer.
He said implementing the use of electronic data is slowed by the need to negotiate with global partners, but the service is making progress.
The 104-page bipartisan report produced by the Senate Homeland Security Committee is the result of a yearlong Senate investigation. "They offered discounts for bulk purchases and even tried to up-sell us to carfentanil".
Researchers on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations also contacted Chinese sellers directly. "Accepted payment methods include cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, bank transfers, mobile payment services, and money orders", states the report.
Daniel Baldwin, right, section chief in the Office of Global Enforcement at the Drug Enforcement Administration, testifies during a Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing on worldwide mail and the opioid crisis, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
It is not surprising that people are ordering fentanyl online to sell; the profit margins are staggering. The next month he received a package from someone identified by the investigators as a Pennsylvania-based distributor. "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".
The huge influx of opioids has led to a wave of overdose deaths across the U.S.in recent years.
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