But, whom do you arrest when you never see the product change hands?
That’s the issue Barbourville Mayor David Thompson and Police Chief Winston Tye want to bring to the attention of parents, grandparents and legal guardians.
Adults with children under their care need to be more vigilant of packages being delivered directly to their kids. In the Barbourville Police Department’s investigations into local youth drug problems, Chief Tye said he and his officers have seen a new and substantially growing trend emerge. Children are apparently ordering their drugs online and having the drugs delivered right to their door.
“This is an issue that is getting way out of hand,” said Chief Tye. “Kids in school are talking to their friends and classmates about easy (and quick) it is for them to order something (legal or otherwise) off the Internet.”
It is not against the law to receive a package with illegal drugs in it if you do not know what is in the package. However, there are legal consequences for deliberately ordering illegal drugs off the Internet, and it is a federal crime to send or receive illegal drugs through the mail.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has specially trained federal law enforcement agents that investigate the sale and distribution of illegal drugs by mail.
“This means anyone sending or receiving illegal drugs through the mail could face criminal state or federal charges resulting in prison time,” said Postal Inspector Roberta Bottoms, who covers the Southeastern Kentucky area.
Bottoms also confirmed that children’s guardians have the right to open and check out their children’s mail and any packages that are delivered to their home.
“Once a package leaves the courier’s hand and enters the home, the package becomes the responsibility of the homeowner, and if parents choose to check the contents of any delivered packages, that’s their right,” she said.
The onslaught of this new threat is the reason Mayor Thompson and Chief Tye want to encourage parents and grandparents to be watchful of any packages their children are receiving through the mail.
“Be especially leery of anything your children would have no reason to order through the mail, like candy, gum, powders or even snack foods,” said Chief Tye. “You’ll also want to be suspicious of packages without return labels or packages that have someone else’s name with your address on it. If you do find something suspicious, don’t hesitate to call 911.”
“Remember, that person on the Internet doesn’t know or care who they’re selling to,” added Mayor Thompson. “They don’t care what kind of reaction a particular drug will have on a child, nor do they care how much of the drug it will take for a child to overdose. All they care about is the easy money they’re making.”
“We care about helping save our children’s lives. If even one parent or grandparent reads this and reports an illegal drug delivery, it’ll be worth it.”