As more states legalize marijuana, police say more of the legal cannabis is being shipped illegally into states like Missouri and Illinois.
Illinois State Police and the Office of Inspector General's Postal Division s have confiscated pounds and pounds of high-grade marijuana. On Wednesday they made another bust.
"This medical grade marijuana was grown in California," Msgt. Sgt. Joe Beliveau with ISP said during a bust. "We haven't put it on the scale yet, but there are several pounds. Most of the time they are trying to stay below the radar of the postal inspector. They are shipping pounds at a time, but they might ship multiple boxes."
Recently, an undercover investigation led Illinois State Police and postal inspectors to an Alton mail carrier. The Madison County State's Attorney charged 44 –year-old Michael Hayes with two counts of unlawful delivery of cannabis. He allegedly tried to sell some of his stash to an undercover agent. He's also charged with one count of possessing hydrocodone.
While it might be legal in certain states to sell high-grade marijuana, it is illegal to ship the product through the mail. Not only are arrests pursued on the receiving end, but authorities say they will pursue charges on the shipping end as well.
A spokesperson with the USPS Inspector's Office reports last year, the agency, together with the (MEGSI) Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois seized 106 pounds of cannabis, four pounds of cocaine, two ounces of heroin, 13 firearms and more than $97,000 in cash. The majority of these items were seized at homes and other locations. The mail was just a starting point of the investigation which ultimately led to much larger seizures.