Murkowski to USPS: Step Up War on Drugs in Southeast Alaska

Senator Urges Increased Collaboration Between Postal Service and Local Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As communities throughout Southeast Alaska report significant volumes of illegal drugs transported via the United States Postal Service (USPS), Senator Murkowski is asking the Postmaster General to address the matter, possibly by devoting additional US Postal Inspection Service resources to the area or increasing collaboration with local law enforcement agencies to reduce the flow of drugs into Southeast.

In a letter, the Senator writes to the Postmaster General:

“I am told the U.S. Postal Service has become a main conduit for drug trafficking in Juneau, Petersburg, and other Southeast Alaska communities.  For example, Alaska State Representative Muñoz reports that in the past two years, only one, 2.5 day USPS inspection was permitted, and that inspection revealed 10 packages of narcotics valued at over $300,000.”

Murkowski continues, “Action must be taken to ensure that the USPS is not an avenue for drug trafficking…In this difficult budget environment, another solution I urge you to consider is whether cross-deputization agreements could be entered with local law enforcement that might allow them to conduct inspections, if they have the resources to do so.  I understand such an arrangement is working well between USPS and the Alaska State Troopers in Western Alaska.”

Senator Murkowski has been working with the US Postal Inspection Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration since last August to identify ways to interrupt illegal drugs trafficking into Southeast Alaska through the mail, the Alaska Marine Highway System and other transportation avenues.

The letter sent to Postmaster General Donahoe is attached.