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Prosecutors Drop Drug Trafficking Case Against FedEx (go.com)
105 points by protomyth on June 18, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

Nothing surprises me with the government anymore. The DEA wanted to continue building a drug case, so they didn't give Fedex information that they would have used to immediately cutoff service to the suspects, which would have tipped them off that the Feds were onto them. That's certainly their right, but they can't then turn around and prosecute Fedex for not acting on information they never had.

This was nothing more than a shakedown attempt by the government. There is little doubt that Fedex was approached with numerous offers to make this go away in exchange for a hefty fine. In this case, Fedex should sue for malicious prosecution and be awarded both compensatory and punitive damages. I wonder if Fedex shareholders might have a claim against the government as well, as this looming trial had to have damaged the stock price.

Similarly, Kim Dotcom's Megaupload cooperated with the government and was even an FBI asset in investigations. All this was conveniently forgotten when they raided his home.

So surprising for the gov to go after a billion dollar company. So surprising. But I think the politics in the US is breaking down a bit. In that petty self-interest is taking over and slowly creating a corrupt system. Happens to everyone given enough time I guess.

They are like UPS has given us 40 million, why has FedEx not paid the Lord this tax. FedEx is in for a smiting.

My understanding is that these drugs were being shipped from legitamate pharmacies (not some warehouse or personal residence) and that Fedex has a metric ton of legitamate prescription drug shipping business.

So they are faced with the challenge of trying to identify which packages (of which they don't know the details of the contents) are legal and illegal. Quite difficult, so they ask the gov't to tell them which ones are the bad actors and the gov't refuses.

Good for them for fighting the charges.

The government has been doing this for quite some time. Shake down a business, fine them, guide fines into politically allied advocacy groups. Nothing spells crapitalism like the government telling corporations how to spend their money and corporations making sure those in government stay there.

The biggest example is likely Bank of America's mortgage fines being guided into political advocacy groups with a $2 credit for every $1 donated. Relief for actual victims only gets a $1 credit for every $1. Harder to be more corrupt than that.

The only real crime here is squashing competition, now that a clear message has been sent to all couriers, expect even further insane prices. Same drugs can be bought via online pharmacies for fractions of the price from docs/hospitals

“I like the FedEx guy, 'cause he's a drug dealer and he don't even know it! And he's always on time.” - Mitch Hedberg

From my memory and understanding, this reads similar in a lot of ways to the WorldCom anti-wiretapping stance and the resulting hyper-aggressive federal prosecution

You're thinking of Qwest's Nacchio and his insider-trading conviction. WorldCom was a few years earlier and an unambiguous case of massive financial fraud on the heels of Enron. Bernie and his cronies deserved every bit of what they got, and more besides.

Yeah, Bernie and WorldCom completely ruined one of the greatest tech startups ever, MCI. I mean, they broke up the AT&T monopoly on phone service! With what started out as a microwave radio service for truck drivers! (Yes, the AT&T lawsuits to assert copyright over UNIX followed, but those were unintended consequences and not MCI's fault.)

I once got a tour of the building that ran uu.net (owned by MCI) before it became the domain of spamlords. There was the control center of practically the entire internet backbone of 1993 right in front of me.

That was also the first commercial ISP (UUNet), correct me if wrong.

I'm old enough to remember UUNet as the center of the universe and by curious circumstances I ended up having them as my ISP years later (around 1999/2000) when I moved to a place that only had ISDN as the high speed connectivity option. UUNet had a POP that was local call dialable for me, due to the phone company lacking ISDN capability on the local switch: they backhauled my circuit to a city 120 miles away and UUNet has colocation there. The lowest ping times I've had before or since!

According to Wikipedia, The World was the first commercial ISP in 1989. I do remember using MCIMail at a law firm around 1990-91 though, so they weren't far behind.

Looking at the USENIX entry at the bottom of that Wikipedia page, "Spike" states that it was Alternet (UUNet) that connected The World to the internet in 1990. Also in the Slashdot interview he admits in 1989 they still were not on the internet.

In 1989 the only internet connections I was aware of were via universities or government agencies. Maybe The World was offering copies of Usenet or mail forwarding prior to 1990, as were the people behind UUNet, but I would guess they must have first downloaded the bits from a university or government agency.

Can a company provide "internet service" before it is connected to the internet? :)

Ah yes...thank you...wish I could correct that.

Is this the legal version of "don't shoot the messenger" ?

No, Fedex would have been liable if it had knowingly continued to ship illegal drugs after having been notified by the government. In this case, Fedex asked for needed details, and was rejected.

I wonder if this is related to the Paul Le Roux case recently featured in The Atavist. Can't find the first submission for this or I'd link it. Le Roux sent his pharmacists stacks of prepaid FedEx envelopes to ship the prescriptions created by internet pharmacists, and that was actually one of the ways the government caught up with him.

I thought the same thing. The types of drugs being sold were the same ones.

"I like the FedEx driver, because he's a drug dealer and he don't even know it... And he's always on time."

I'll be satisfied when the extortionist legal eagles have their licenses permanently revoked and maybe go to jail.

Their bosses, too.

Url changed from http://overlawyered.com/2016/06/justice-dept-case-fedex-coll..., which points to this.

Then I'll copy a very impactful line that's only in that story:

> FedEx says it repeatedly asked the government to supply a list of shippers it considered illicit so that it could cut off service, but that the government refused; the Department of Justice contends that circumstantial evidence should have been enough to alert the package shipment company.

We definitely want the most substantive version of a story. That usually isn't found on advocacy sites, but perhaps this time it was? We rely on users to figure this out for us because it's impossible for us to study every article.

Trying to get my head wrapped around this.


The lack of details in the new 'improved' link? I feel you.

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