A Senate investigative committee released a new report on Wednesday revealing how overseas drug distributors have exploited weaknesses in the United States Postal Service to ship an untold amount of deadly, illicit fentanyl into the country.
The lead Republican author of the report, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, described how foreign distributors, largely in China, have taken advantage of e-commerce and loopholes in the postal system to transmit hundreds of thousands of packages of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids to U.S. consumers. "It is shockingly easy," Portman said at a Thursday hearing on opioid interdiction.
In an effort to understand the flow of fentanyl into the United States, a bipartisan staff of Senate investigators produced a 96-page report identifying the weaknesses in the current fight against the opioid epidemic, specifically the overseas supply of those drugs. The investigation began with a simple online search: "fentanyl for sale." Within moments the investigative team was able to connect to an array of international distributors.