The Dude Grows Show

Parcel Interdiction Officers


In regards to conversations on the show about traveling with and shipping cannabis, I just wanted to share what I recently learned about parcel interdiction as a juror on a drug case in a prohibition state. The TL;DR of it all is that Law Enforcement is working with local carrier facilities, and since they are private companies, with user agreements – there is no warrant required.

Over the course of the trial we heard testimony from multiple police officers as well as staff from a FedEx facility, where they had identified a package as suspect and proceed to build a case. The thing I was most surprised to learn was that “Parcel Interdiction” officers report to work at the local FedEx and UPS facilities almost daily. They focus on overnight packages, with these officers staged before shipping companies staff, inspecting packages and looking for “suspect shipments”.

These officers and the site’s staff look for packages that have supposed “tells” like “excessive tape” and “odd smells” as well as anomalies on the shipping label and packaging – such as not in a retailer’s box (ie Amazon, Wal-Mart), that it was shipped from a “legal” state to a “prohibition” state, or if the address “seemed random or fake”.

In the example of this case, the tells were that it smelled like coffee and had the edges of the box taped in addition to the strip down the middle – nothing I as a regular Joe would think of as excessive.

In testimony they then explained that FedEx staff, in addition to opening the “suspicious” package, looked up and provided tracking details to their law enforcement “co-workers” and the officers Google street viewed the labels addresses, deciding it was suspicious coming from the address of a hotel. The officers then used a drug dog to provide them with legal cover to confiscate and continue building a case, and FedEx handed over all records related to that shipment as well as others from the same address.

We then learned about a tactic called “controlled delivery” whereby, a plain clothed officer with a story about receiving the package by mistake, delivers it to the destination address, handing it to whoever they find at the scene. If/when someone at the address accepts the package other officers rush in and make an arrest on charges of possession – for the package they just handed you!

From there it is a warrant and full search of your stuff. In this case it was a shipment of pills, but once on site they were able to charge with everything else they found, including cannabis.

Another interesting thing to note is, these Interdiction Officers are the same ones that spend time hanging out at the nearby regional air port, and are the officers that the TSA “will refer the matter” too in a prohibition state if they find anything in your luggage.

So my takeaways from this, as a repressed citizen under the thumb of prohibition have been; Never use a private carrier to ship such goods, never ship such things overnight, and never accept a package from a plain clothed random. Also as a note, the US Postal Service has their own postal inspection agents who are federal, and require warrants with some burden of proof to open a package.


4 responses to “Parcel Interdiction Officers”

  1. Crazy Hands Avatar

    Shipping shit always sketched me out. Thanks for your information! Getting a rare view into a court topic probably not witnessed by too many of us.

  2. Family Tree Cannabis Co. Avatar

    Never ship fed ex or UPS .. I worked at UPS Jax hub in my youth .. it’s huge .. saw In Person feds to roll in and make a huge bust that spaned state wide involving Oxy theft and shipping .. walked 6 dudes out in cuffs and grab a bunch more not long after .. this was like 2000 ish .. so this shit been going on a long time 👊👊

  3. NayHay Avatar

    Thanks for taking the time to share. Makes me feel vindicated for always finding a real address to use for the the FROM line of the package. (I use a small store so it doesn’t implicate anyone else.)

  4. Elevated Mindset Avatar

    Living in Texas, THCA Flower is Legal to buy in state. I order from Dispos all over America and they mail to the house. If it is legal to buy in my own state, why would there be an issue buying it from California, CO, etc..?

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