The law is a very powerful tool. Possessing a better understanding of it will help you not only avoid trouble, but avoid putting yourself in any situations remotely related to trouble. The US Mail system is commonly used for transport and delivery of many compounds, including anabolic steroids. Here are a few things you may not have been aware of when it comes to the US Mail system and steroid searches.
Did you know some mail may be searched without a warrant?
First Class, Priority, and Express mail are all protected classes of mail, which means postal inspectors – or federal law enforcement agents whose sole job it is to detect drug shipments in the mail – cannot search them without a search warrant, which is very hard to obtain. However, there is an unprotected class of mail, which includes periodicals, package services, and standard mail, which can be searched at any time for any suspicion.
Did you know inspectors have criterion for suspicious packages?
There is a profile for packages which are likely to contain steroids or other illicit compounds. They might come from an unusual shipping facility, such as a Chinese manufacturer. They may come in a very high volume out of an area where there is no manufacturing or commerce, a certain sign of illicit activity. They may have hand-written labels, or show obvious signs of a language barrier. The may have no return address, or a false one. They might have suspicious odors, or they may alert the drug canines. They might show stains from a cracked vial of oil inside the box which has leaked to the outside. Many steroid receivers have been caught because their package leaked due to poor packaging. Finally, drug smugglers tend to use a great deal of tape to keep the contents intact and hidden. However, x-ray machines have no problem gazing though your taped exterior. Knowing what “they” look for may be very helpful for avoiding detection.
Did you know that your mail is protected by the Fourth Amendment?
Many court battles have raged for decades regarding the legality of the government simply being able to open mail that is shipping through its shipping company, the US Postal Service. The United States Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that any sealed package or letter is entitled to full protection for search by the Fourth Amendment. In fact, it’s as if the package intended for delivery to your house is afforded the same legal protections as your house itself. The authorities cannot just open your door and look around for evidence to use against you in a court of law. Likewise, they cannot do it to your mail order steroids either.
Did you know they may search it anyway?
This is where things enter into that gray area. The Supreme Court has ruled that any time there is reasonable cause to believe a package contains some sort of contraband which breaks the law – whether it is a weapon, drug, or other illegal item – it may be searched. If you’re shipping, receiving, or working anywhere in between, work to learn your rights and stay away from situations which may put you at risk legally.