Greg interviews Mike Tobin, the Community and Public Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland, OH. As the Community and Public Affairs Specialist, Mike oversees the office’s interactions with both the media and the community, covering a multitude of high profile cases, including those relating to the opioid epidemic.
Greg asks Mike about how the way drugs are sold and tracked has shifted with the advent of the internet. Mike explains that things like the dark web and even regular areas on the internet have made ordering drugs highly accessible. “Technology disrupts things… History is full of times where technology advances and it changes the marketplace – and we’re seeing that right now in the drug trade. It used to be here in Cleveland and throughout the United States; the way drugs got here was they would often come over the Southwest border. They would then be driven up to a bigger city like New York or Chicago, and then they would be transferred to other cities and people would go buy them on street corners. What we’re seeing now is people can order their drugs online, often on the dark web, but not always; sometimes just through regular google. And it’s being mailed here, because as you said, it’s small, it’s not easily traceable, and we get 10s of millions of packages every year from overseas. So we could theoretically search every one of those packages and then people would be upset because the thing they ordered from Amazon took 10 days instead of two, and then the economy would come to a screeching halt – or we can use our best investigative methods to try and figure out what’s coming in here, but knowing full well that we’re not going to get every single thing or even most things.”
Listen to the podcast to discover how law enforcement and the Department of Justice are going undercover to take down online communities devoted to illegal trading and the sale of drugs.