Substance Abuse

Fedex and UPS Subjects of a Federal Investigation For Online Drug Shipments

Two of the country’s shipping giants have confirmed they are being investigated for their dealings with online pharmacies. The investigation is part of an international effort to curtail prescription drug abuse, the ABC News reports.

The disclosure was made in regulatory filings over the last several weeks. Both companies said they received grand jury subpoenas between 2007 and 2009, but neither explained why they have now decided to talk about the investigation in public.

On Thursday, a federal jury convicted three men of operating illegal pharmacies that used FedEx and UPS to transport drugs without proper prescriptions. Seven others have been convicted in San Francisco this year.

Fedex spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald said he didn’t know if the investigation was linked to the San Francisco cases. He called the probe “absurd” and maintained the company has not engaged in any wrongdoing. He further noted that the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to provide Fedex a list of online pharmacies under investigation.

Fitzgerald added that without such a list, it’s impossible to know which companies are operating illegally. He also said the company has no intention of entering into a plea bargain, saying settlement is out of their option.

“We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers by opening and inspecting their packages in an attempt to determine the legality of the contents,” Fitzgerald said.

However, while Fedex has shown defiance in the ongoing criminal investigation, UPS said they would be cooperating with the federal officials and is “exploring the possibility of resolving this matter.”

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