WASHINGTON D.C. (WTOL) - A scathing report released Wednesday evening called out the U.S. Postal Service. The report puts part of the blame for the deadly opioid crisis on the mail system.
While there has not been a response yet from the USPS, this is sure to get the attention of a lot of their customers.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is now the number one killer in accidental deaths in Ohio, passing heroin, prescription drugs and car accidents.
"It's so powerful that just a few flakes of it can kill you. And those who use it not only put themselves in danger, but they also put law enforcement and children at risk," Sen. Portman said. "We must keep this poison off our streets and out of our communities."
Sen. Portman helped lead a bipartisan investigation in Washington that claims the U.S. Postal Service is allowing fentanyl traffickers, especially from China, to exploit vulnerabilities in the USPS system.
"Thanks to our bipartisan investigation, we now know the depth to which drug traffickers exploit our mail system to ship fentanyl and other synthetic drugs into the United States," Sen. Portman said. "The federal government can, and must, act to shore up our defenses against this deadly drug and help save lives."
Specifically, it says the USPS only gathered advanced electronic data (AED) on 36 percent of international packages it handled. That means 318 million of those packages do not have vital information like where the package came from and what is inside.
The investigation also linked seven synthetic opioid-related deaths in the U.S. to online sellers in China, who took advantage of the lack of screening.
On Thursday morning in Washington, Senator Portman will host a hearing to further expose these alleged problems with our mail system and what should be done to stop it.
"The STOP Act is one solution that will help, but we must do much more," Sen. Portman said. "I look forward to tomorrow's hearing and to continuing my work with Senator Carper and my bipartisan colleagues to keep these deadly drugs out of Ohio and our country."
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