DEA: Deadly drugs being purchased online, shipped to US

Deadly drugs are being purchased online and shipped into the United States through the mail.

Drug Enforcement Agency officials say it's one of the oldest tricks in the book. Local drug dealers and those addicted to opioids are now buying deadly drugs online and getting them shipped through the United States Postal Service.

The problem is so widespread, officials are not only trying to crack down in the states but overseas where they say the problem starts.

The USPS deals with millions of packages a day, but does it know what's in each package?

"There is so much mail coming in, they try to go after the different packages," said Special Agent Brian Boyle.

Brian Boyle is in charge of the New England area. He says in Massachusetts, people are able to buy fentanyl and carfentanyl on the dark web.

"Fentanyl is very dangerous. It's very cheap when you buy it through the dark web," said Boyle.

The drugs are being shipped unknowingly by USPS from China.

"We are seeing a decent amount of fentanyl that comes in through the mail.  Like 100 grams to upwards to 500 grams," Boyle said.

One would never know what's really in the packages because the drugs are hidden in a sophisticated way.

"We've had it in electronic devices, in statues, religious, they will hollow out the inside and put it in that," said Boyle.

A spokesperson for the USPS tells Boston 25 News:

"Postal Inspectors proactively seek to identify and remove illegal drug shipments in the mail. Postal Inspectors use their expertise not only to identify drug parcels, but also to identify and find the sender and recipients."

"A normal person can’t go on the website and find this stuff. You have to know how to get around the internet. You have to go on the dark web. They have knowledge. Educated people are doing this," said Boyle.

Authorities say the people who are purchasing fentanyl and selling it are often times using Bitcoins to pay, which is difficult to track. But authorities with the DEA say they are going after the large quantities that are purchased.

It's hard to put an exact number on how many packages containing fentanyl are being shipped through the USPS.