HONOLULU (KHON2) — United States Postal inspectors said illegal trafficking of fentanyl through the mail is nonstop. Officials warn this is just the beginning and they’re urging the public to help.
Brian Shaughnessy, U.S. Postal Inspector for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Honolulu, said trafficking drugs like fentanyl through the mail is a huge concern and one of their top priorities.
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“It’s essentially nonstop,” Shaughnessy said. “There’s no off-season when it comes to the trafficking of illegal narcotics into Hawaii through the mail.”
In the last two years, he said they’ve been involved in dozens of cases and they’re seeing much more fentanyl.
“The majority of these cases have been for methamphetamine,” Shaughnessy said. “That still is the drug of choice in Hawaii. But fentanyl is certainly something that we’re seeing and we are seizing.”
According to statistics from the USPIS, from October 2021 through August 2022, nationwide, U.S. postal inspectors conducted 953 seizures of fentanyl, preventing more than 2,124 pounds of the drug from reaching the streets.
Gary Yabuta, from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, said the majority of its coming from the west coast, likely several Mexican cartels.
And he said, it’s lethal, more than 50 times stronger than heroin.
“They can care less about innocent people dying from their product. Their product is very potent, and it’s potent for a reason,” Yabuta said.
According to Yabuta, there have been five overdoses in Honolulu in the last month, and a handful more on the neighboring islands.
He said this is just the beginning.
“We all have an opportunity to nip this right now before it explodes,” he explained. “And that’s to prevent fentanyl from becoming an epidemic here in Hawaii.”
Shaughnessy is urging the public to help.
Call 877-876-2455 if you have any information about fentanyl or any drugs being sent through the mail.
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Shaughnessy said sending illegal drugs through the mail is a federal offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison per count.