Thread: Penalty of receiving drugs by mail (revised)

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    Penalty of receiving drugs by mail (revised) 
    I think this concerns many and is important. After using the search I found nothing good on this topic. I don't know what would happen to some person that did the foolish thing of receiving drugs via mail. I dont know if it is a federal offense to just the sender or what. What may they do with a receiver of drugs? Just sieze the package and not do anything or give some kind of warning letter? Arrange a bust? I am refering to personal use quantities here.

    From chatting with people, it seems substances such as vials of ketamine and C-IV anti-anxiety drugs are common things ordered.

    I am not asking for ways to get around the law, I am just curious to what the laws are.

    From Mariposa420:
    If the drugs cross state lines or are placed in the US Mail, then it becomes a matter under federal jurisdiction.

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    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    atlanta > ga > usa
    this is interesting, suppose you were just pissed because your rock star neighbor plays all night, just mail him a oz of cheap grass and a little coke and wait? suppose i am the idiot rock star and a neighbor does this to me. you can't control who mails you things so how can you be held responsible for said things? anyone with past expereinces here? seems like a pretty harsh weapon in the hands of a neighbor, ex-signifigant other, etc.

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    Bluelight Crew Mariposa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    California Republic
    Thanks Symmetrical Daze for revising your post. I was probably a bit hasty in closing the other, but I tend to act conservatively when faced with fine line situations. It definitely wasn't anything personal or an attack on your question.

    I'll have to do a bit of homework on this one and will respond in detail once I have.

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    Bluelight Crew Dr. J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    Even if the drugs don't cross state lines, you're still utilizing the UNITED STATES postal service, a federal agency. Also, drugs are certainly considered part of interstate commerce, so the feds could have jurisdiction even if you used a private carrier like UPS or fedex within state lines.

    In the case beantown describes, the prosecution would have to prove intent to receive, or some kind of knowledge for one to be charged. Otherwise, as you said, anyone could mail someone a bag of drugs and have them arrested. But, pleading ignorance probably isn't as easy of a defense as it sounds. An ambitious prosecutor may go to great lengths to prove your knowledge about the drugs.

    Incidently, it is important to remember a warrant is needed to open packages or letters sent through us mail. Private carriers, however, are not bound by such rules. There is a case that I remember where fedex or ups found coke in a package that fell off the truck and called in the feds.

    The poster is asking about personal use amounts, which is tough to answer because there are several variables at work, and if I go into too much detail it would be, in a sense, providing a how-to guide for successfully mailing drugs without getting caught.

    If police open a letter with, say, 10 ecstasy pills in it marked for your address, you can probably expect some kind of police contact. They aren't simply going to mail you a letter stating that your illegal drugs have been seized.

    Is it possible to get away with it? Absolutely. Can it be done safely? can be done with minimal risk, and it is up to the individual to assess those risks and choose how to procede, knowing that, as the sender or recipient of drugs, no matter how small the amount, arrest and conviction are real possibilities.

    And, it goes with saying, small amounts of marijuana are at a different end of the punishment spectrum taen 10-20 pills, so this isn't meant to assert that each and every person caught with any amount of drugs is going to go to jail.

    If you take anything from this, it should be that if you're having to ask questions about "how-to" do this or what kind of punishments are involved, you probably shouldn't be doing it anyway.

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    The feds have jurisdiction over any crime involving a federally controlled substance, regardless of whether it is shipped. It could be simple possession and the feds would have jurisdiction.

    The relevant question as I see it is whether there is an extra penalty for using the U.S. mail. I'm fairly certain there is.

    Another question is whether you are more likely to get prosecuted by the feds (as opposed to state law enforcement) if you use the mail. I be wiliing to guess that you are, but it would depends on a lot.

    I think the Postmaster has its own law enforcement arm, and maybe they take on these cases where a normal federal prosecutor would leave it up to the states.

    I'm just guessing though, maybe someone could do some research.
    Last edited by Mahan Atma; 16-01-2004 at 03:09.

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    Yes, you are committing a whole separate and additional offense when you use the mail to ship drugs. See 21 U.S.C. 843(b).

    This means that you can be charged with BOTH using the mails, as well as whatever charge you'd otherwise be guilty of (e.g. distribution, importation, possession, whatever).

    These sorts of cases are handed by the Postal Inspector, rather than the FBI. It's a substantial part of their job. Thus I'd be willing to guess that you increase your chances of getting prosecuted federally when you use the mails.

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    Incidently, it is important to remember a warrant is needed to open packages or letters sent through us mail
    What kind of warrant? Can the post office guy just say "this has a suspicious return address."? Who must approve the opening of a package?

    Does the same apply to an overseas package being shipped? I understand customs can sieze it but what about after it gets here. Can they say, "this guy coming in to his p.o. box is getting strange overseas packages sometimes, lets open one"?

    If customs siezed a, schedule III drug for example, do they just send a letter or can they press charges? I always thought they just sieze them, send a letter and thats it.

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