Background

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s narcotics program is intended to protect U.S. Postal Service employees at nearly 32,000 facilities from the dangers of handling packages containing illegal narcotics and ensuring public trust in the mail. The Postal Inspection Service conducts investigations of individuals attempting to use the mail for drug trafficking. In fiscal year 2015, the Postal Inspection Service seized about 34,000 pounds of marijuana from the mailstream.

When postal employees suspect a package contains marijuana or any illegal drug, they must [redacted], inform a supervisor, and contact the Postal Inspection Service for guidance. [Redacted].

We initiated this audit to address allegations regarding postal employees’ handling of packages suspected of containing marijuana at seven post offices in the Capital Metro, Great Lakes, Pacific, and Western areas.

Our objective was to assess the Postal Inspection Service’s and Postal Service’s handling of packages suspected of containing marijuana.

What the OIG Found

Postal Inspection Service and Postal Service officials did [redacted].

Postal Inspection Service procedures allowed packages [redacted]. Specifically:

The Postal Inspection Service instructed employees at four post offices to [redacted]. In at least one instance, [redacted].

Postal inspectors [redacted].

Lastly, although postal facilities were secured, employees at three post offices [redacted]. All three facilities took corrective actions by providing additional security for these packages.

These conditions occurred because the practice that allows postal inspectors discretion [redacted]. Postal Inspection Service did not have clear and comprehensive guidance for [redacted]. Further, post office personnel were not always sufficiently trained to provide additional security for packages suspected of containing marijuana.

Insufficient controls over handling and tracking packages suspected of containing marijuana from initial retrieval from the mail to final disposition increases the risk these packages could be lost, stolen, mishandled, or undetected. This could expose employees to harm or danger, foster criminal activity, adversely affect drug investigations and prosecutions, and negatively impact the Postal Service’s brand, and the integrity of the mail.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended management implement a nationwide policy for handling, tracking, and providing additional security for packages suspected of containing marijuana to reduce the risk of these packages being lost or stolen; and develop training to ensure responsible personnel understand their roles and responsibilities.

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Comments (13)

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  • anon

    I was approached by some guys on one of my delivery streets. Asking about a package that was out for delivery but i didnt have it! I instructed them to call our office to find out where it was. Nobody can tell him where it it! Now since its been tracked and says its out for delivery, they think i stole it and i think they are following me around. Im getting nervous and a little scared. It think they are going to do something to me because they think i stole it! What should i do?

    Sep 29, 2017
  • anon

    I have a tip. Someone I know of, ships mariguana packages in tool boxes to avoid perforations to Louisiana. Email for a full report

    May 25, 2017
  • anon

    Hi Humberto, and thanks for the message. The best thing to do in this situation is to file a report with the OIG Hotline. You can do so by clicking on the red button that reads "report fraud, waste, and abuse." This will best allow us to look into this issue. Very Respectfully, The USPS Office of Inspector General

    May 25, 2017
  • anon

    I cannot for the life of me see why the IG was created when the USPIS has been doing this job for years. Why do they give your people firearms, you do not work any street crimes of any kind. I have checked historic facts and not one single IG agent of any agency has ever been listed on the law enforcement memorial in DC. Well I have had my say.

    Nov 16, 2016
  • anon

    University City, MO have the employees working there. They will loose your packages and act like its the customers fault, supervisors and all.. SAD

    Oct 27, 2016
  • anon

    Would this be in reference to the package sent through the 29709 facility?

    Oct 21, 2016
  • anon

    Previous audit reports were posted in their entirety with heavily redacted sections because of privacy concerns. I urge you to do the same or at least explain why there will be no transparency. A vague statement about "FOIA concerns" is not being transparent. Surely a summary can be provided as to the outcome of your audit. Why even post the audit report on the USPS OIG web site? To tell the public it's none of their business? Please, edify me, What is your purpose again???

    Oct 20, 2016
  • anon

    Marijuana is the LEAST of the problems facing us collectively today. Enough Said

    Oct 21, 2016
  • anon

    yeah had a couple of those come my way before....just crazy

    Nov 09, 2016
  • anon

    We understand your concern, but we are as transparent as FOIA and Privacy law allow. In all of FY 16 we only had one report that was so sensitive we could only post a cover letter. To be as transparent as possible, we post the cover letter so that people know we conducted the audit, but the results were so sensitive we were forced to withhold posting of the report.

    Oct 20, 2016
  • anon

    The Freedom of Information Act does not prevent any information from being published. That is incredibly misleading.

    Oct 20, 2016
  • anon

    The OIG's explanation was poorly written but not inaccurate. There are "exemptions" under the Freedom of Information Action (FOIA) under 5 USC §552 that "protect" certain interests -- and thus information -- from disclosure.

    Nov 02, 2016
  • anon

    The Freedom of Information Act provides that government information should be subject to disclosure. It doesn't protect information, per se, unless there is another basis to protect is from disclosure.

    Oct 18, 2016