View Full Version : Legal Q about mail...
04-12-2002, 11:46 AM
If someone sends you something in the mail w/ an illegal substance in it, but you don't open it up anywhere near the post office or near the time that you recieve the product, can you get in trouble for it? Wouldn't it you be able to send someone an illegal product and tip the police off about it to get them in trouble?
04-12-2002, 12:34 PM
If you had no reason to believe there was anything illegal in the letter, and the letter is addressed to you, you aren't going to get in trouble for opening it.
Now, if you decide to keep whatever illegal thing it is, then you've got something to worry about.
04-12-2002, 03:55 PM
What if you just don't open the package for another week or so?
04-12-2002, 04:02 PM
It depends on what's done regarding reporting the package, I would think. If you open the package and know that the substance is illegal, then you would probably be best off reporting it to the authorities. If you have reason to suspect the contents of the package, you could bring it to the post office or the police station and mention your concerns.
If, say, the cops or Postal Inspectors come a'callin' and you point at the package and say "but see, I got it a week ago and haven't opened it!", they're going to wonder why not. That brings the possibility of you getting into trouble into the picture.
Of course, I Am Not a Lawyer (IANAL), though I am married to a letter carrier.
There have been numerous attempts by police to entrap people by sending them packages of real bad stuff they didn't order, have them pick it up, then bust them. The example I remember best was back in the BBS days, the operator of an adult site (McKinley?) was targeted several times. Each time there was a package he hadn't ordered, he refused to pick it up. And the postmaster kept pleading. Once he was arrested anyway even though he refused the package. (Which is how he found out what the feds were doing.) Law enforcement can get away with a lot of strange stuff if you don't have the $ to fight back with lawyers.
At a former job, during my last week, I got a call to pick up a package addressed to me from some place else in the complex that wasn't a mail center. It wasn't officially even part of the same organization. Very odd. I didn't go get it. They kept insisting I pick it up. I kept asking "Who's it from? How do you know it's for me if they addressed to your group and not mine?" etc. Got all sorts of strange responses. Something really stunk about that. I just moved on.
04-13-2002, 10:18 AM
OK, but I need to know if it IS adressed to you, and you pick it up but DO NOT open the package, can authorities do anything about it with the package still closed? The problem isn't so much what's in the package after it's picked up and brought home, but what happens IMMEDIATELY once the package is picked up from the post office. Extreme example: cocaine is package adressed to yourself from a foreign country, you pick it up from a P.O. box but DO NOT OPEN IT! Can authorities do anything to you so long as the package is unopened. What one writes "Return to sender" on the package while still unopened? Someone told me that they were going to do this as a revenge tactic against someone who screwed them over (they truly deserve it) and report it to the authorities and I was wondering if it could result in a problem if the package was unopened when it was picked up. I'm VERY interested in the subject. Any lawyers, please expand my knowledge.
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