Today’s international drug importation cases are very different from the importation cases of years past. Traditionally, multi-kilogram drug importation cases involved smuggling narcotics in shipping containers on commercial airlines, by cargo vessel, or overland by tractor trailer. The internet and global free trade agreements have fundamentally changed all of this. While traditional importation cases still exists for many “traditional” types of drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, a very different importation model has been steadily gaining traction. Part I of three puts exposure in the Miami herald in examining this trend. Calling it “The China Pipeline,” the series examines several cases and clients we have represented for synthetic drugs.
Our office has been on the cutting edge of every development in the defense of importation drug smuggling cases for over 20 years. Within the past several years, we have been retained to defend several significant international drug smuggling cases involving the distribution of synthetic drugs such as Methylone, Ethylone, EBMC, MDPV, Alpha PVP and others. Each of these cases involved clients who ordered the drugs over the internet directly from the suppler in China with payment made by bitcoin, wire transfer or Western Union. The Chinese supplier then shipped the illegal drugs using the post office or other common carriers such as Federal Express. Typically, the shipments were labeled with false labels indicating contents other than the drugs that were ordered. The shipments were then usually delivered to drop sites such as P.O. boxes or business locations.
A link to the first part in the Miami Herald’s series is here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article35417625.html