Crackdown on sending drugs by mail - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Crackdown on sending drugs by mail

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WSIL -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner believes improved detection and better scrutiny of mail will slow the spread of illegal drugs. 

The Governor says Chicago's O'Hare Airport Mail Facility is the second largest gateway for drug shipments in the country.
"We are in the midst of a major crisis in Illinois," said Gov. Rauner. 

In this state alone last year, nearly 2,000 people died from opioid related overdoses.Those deadly opioids and other illegal drugs have become easier to get ahold of, because they can actually be delivered right to your mailbox.

Union County States Attorney Tyler Edmonds says it's a problem he's seen in his own county.

"In the last couple of years we have seen very large amounts of crystal meth that have been shipped into our area though the mail," said Edmonds. 

But it's not just crystal meth making it to the region, Edmonds says the highly deadly drug called Fentanyl, is also here at home. 

"We haven't seen them delivered directly here, but my suspicion is, they are delivered to urban areas and then distributed because we have certainly seen those in our area," said Edmonds. 

That's why Chicago Ohare Airport Mail Facility unveiled new high-tech detection systems aimed at stopping the influx of Fentanyl and other deadly drugs. 

Pharmacist Ben Calcaterra says he's glad to hear they're being proactive, because getting these drugs through the mail was too easy. 
"A lot of these products actually come in pure powder form in a small wax envelope, that is very difficult to detect, because its no different than pieces of paper in an envelope," said Calcaterra. 
Edmonds says his office and the sheriff's office work very closely with postal inspectors and state police to intercept as many of those drug packages as possible.  But they need help from the public to crack down on the problem.

"If they see suspicious deliveries, repeated suspicious deliveries, and lots of unusual activity, they need to report that to law enforcement," said Edmonds. 

News Three reached out to the U.S Postal Inspection Service to see how they are trying to combat the problem. They released a statement saying they're continuously refining law enforcment operations, target focus, and personnell resources to maximize their ability to remove illegal drug shipments from the mail. 

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