Portman to re-introduce bill aimed at U.S. Mail shipment of drugs

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Portman to re-introduce bill aimed at U.S. Mail shipment of drugs

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U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

In an attempt to fight drug trafficking, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will this week re-introduce a bill designed to apply more stringent rules to foreign packages carried by the U.S. Postal Service.

“Right now, the U.S. Mail system does not require information about where a product comes from, what’s in the package and where it’s going,” Portman said Monday after meeting with Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. “We believe that information alone will make a big difference for law enforcement.”

Portman’s visit to Dayton, one of the areas hardest-hit by the state’s drug epidemic, came a day after the Dayton Daily News reported on the very loopholes the senator hopes his bill, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act, will address. The bill faltered last session.

The newspaper reported overseas drug traffickers are exploiting a loophole in U.S. law that allows packages to enter the country through the U.S. Postal Service virtually unchecked.

“We’re going to have to figure out a way to make sure they (the Postal Service) have the resources to be able to get the information,” Portman said, noting that may include directing federal funds to enact the legislation. “We’re not asking them to do as much in terms of the law enforcement part as in terms of collecting information.”

An independent agency, the Postal Service does not use taxpayer money for its operations. Under federal law, it can’t raise prices more than the rate of inflation without approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission.

More Dayton Daily News reporting on the drug epidemic:

The Associated Press and Staff Writer Chris Stewart contributed reporting.

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