In response to recent reports of drug trafficking through the U.S. Postal Service into Southeast Alaska, Senator Mark Begich and Congressman Don Young today wrote to federal officials calling for a coordinated response between federal, state, and local law enforcement to crack down on the illegal flow of drugs through the mail.
In the letter, the Senator and Congressman write:
"We write to express our concern about reports that, due to insufficient postal inspectors, there have been significant shipments of drugs transported through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) into Alaska communities, especially in Southeast Alaska. We urge the USPS, the Drug Enforcement Agency Administration (DEA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to coordinate and authorize Alaska local law enforcement to inspect USPS shipments for illegal drugs."
Currently, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has only one inspector assigned to Alaska, based in Anchorage. Alaska local law enforcement lacks the authority to inspect incoming packages based on the current legal framework to carry out drug inspections. Young and Begich specifically request the U.S. Postal Service, the DEA and the FBI to allow local law enforcement to inspect postal shipments and protect their communities from the harmful and illegal flow of drugs. Over the past year, both have discussed this issue repeatedly with the U.S. Postal Service, which has informed them the DEA and the FBI must authorize inspections by local law enforcement agencies.