Monday, July 28, 2014

FedEx 'pectations

Stalinism--where everything is prohibited except that which is strictly allowed, by the authorities--was thought to have vanished from the planet with the demise of the USSR. However, the US Dept of Justice has found a way to expand its authority over normal commercial acts among consenting adults;
The Justice Department indicted FedEx earlier this month, charging conspiracy to distribute controlled substances because of the shipper's alleged role in transporting painkillers and other prescription drugs that had been sold illegally. FedEx is scheduled to be arraigned in the proceeding Tuesday morning in San Francisco.
Putting aside how a corporation is indicted (the Board of Directors? the stockholders?), FedEx is engaging in lawful activity by transporting packages from one location to another openly and in broad daylight. If the Feds think there are illegal substances in those packages, they could simply impound them (with a lawfully obtained warrant) and arrest the sender of the package.

But, apparently that wouldn't generate any revenue;
UPS signed a non prosecution agreement in March 2013 in connection with the same probe by the Drug Enforcement Agency and federal prosecutors into its dealings with prescription-drug shippers. It agreed last year to pay $40 million in a deal that required it to admit to its conduct and to start an online-pharmacy compliance program.
FedEx seems to have declined to pay to have its 'nice little shipping business' protected. Instead, they said, 'Show us the bad guys.', and 'then we'll cooperate with you.'
FedEx said in its statement regarding the indictment earlier this month that it transports more than 10 million packages every day and can't police every one. In addition, it said it has repeatedly asked the government for a list of shippers engaged in illicit activities but hasn't received one. "Whenever DEA provides us a list of pharmacies engaging in illegal activity, we will turn off shipping for those companies immediately," said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of marketing and communications, in the statement.
Which is the way things are done in a free society.

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