Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office Announce New Initiative to Prevent the Use of U.S. Post Office Boxes for Illegal Drug Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, USVI – U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn and U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced a new initiative to combat the use of U.S. Post Office Boxes for the distribution of illicit drugs in the U.S. Virgin Islands. When U.S. mail destined for delivery at a Virgin Islands post office box is found to contain illegal drugs or contraband, the Post Office Box customer will be notified by mail and advised of the incident, with instructions to contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). Failure to contact USPIS within ten days will result in the Post Office Box being locked or closed. The 10-day window of time will enable citizens to resolve any issues regarding misuse of their boxes by other persons or any mistakes in delivery.

"The United States Post Office is not a delivery service for the illegal drugs or contraband," said U.S. Attorney Shappert. "The illicit use of the U.S. mails to transport illegal drugs and contraband threatens the safety of U.S. postal employees and undermines public safety in the Territory. It is also a violation of federal law. We have seen far too many abuses of the mail service, and we are working to stop these illegal practices." Shappert noted that the trafficking and distribution of narcotics through the U.S. mails violates the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Use of a Post Office Box in connection with a scheme to violate federal, state or local law also contravenes the U.S. Postal Service Domestic Mail Manual.

Shappert praised the U.S. Virgin Islands Post Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their dedication to public service and to public safety. "Everyone in the U.S. Virgin Island relies on the Postal Service for mail and packages that are a part of our daily lives. We are grateful for their hard work and their determination to uphold the law."

Updated November 1, 2018