The investigators focused on six websites to better understand the process of purchasing fentanyl online.
In a yearlong probe published Wednesday, Senate investigators found that Chinese sellers, who openly market opioids such as fentanyl to US buyers, are pushing delivery through the USA postal system.
The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said that its investigators found through Google searches "hundreds of pages offering to sell" opioids, including highly-addictive fentanyl. When we see overdoses in Highland County, they're often fentanyl-related overdoses. 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. The sellers are taking advantage of a failure by the postal service to fully implement an electronic data system that would help authorities identify suspicious shipments.
Postal and Customs authorities must do a better job at screening worldwide mail shipments for opioids arriving in the United States via "Express Mail", Sen. The report was critical of the U.S. Postal Service and Customs and Border Protection, saying the agencies have failed to prepare for an increase in worldwide shipments, struggled to cooperate with each other, and been slow to introduce enhanced-screening methods.
Compounding the epidemic of opioid usage in the United States, which President Trump has declared a national public health emergency, a year-long probe by a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs investigations subcommittee discovered a gap in the mail service that allows Americans to purchase the drug easily over the internet.
Many common opioids can be purchased through Chinese pharmacy websites with some vendors even openly bragging about how they avoid drug screenings. "Accepted payment methods include cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, bank transfers, mobile payment services, and money orders", states the report.
Sales from China tracked by the Senate investigators were connected to seven confirmed synthetic opioid-related deaths in the U.S., the report confirmed. The Senate has cleared the report to be handed over to law enforcement.
It is not surprising that people are ordering fentanyl online to sell; the profit margins are staggering. A day later, the MI man died of an overdose from drugs, including a chemical similar to fentanyl.
A Republican senator is calling for more action from his colleagues to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl, which continues to pour in through USA mail services from China. Portman noted that fentanyl now kills more people in his home state than heroin. "The federal government can, and must, act to shore up our defenses", said Sen.