MiamiHerald / Just a few weeks ago a Davie, Florida, couple, Anthony Gomes and Elizabeth Ton, were arrested for widely distributing deadly drugs they purchased over the internet from China. While their crimes afforded them lavish luxuries, including a private plane, the illicit drug trade came at an enormous cost, taking the lives of at least four people in North Dakota and Oregon.

This case may seem particularly shocking, but such stories are increasingly commonplace in Florida. Earlier this year, a 10-year-old Miami boy suffered a fatal overdose after ingesting deadly fentanyl. Just this month, a Sanford man was arrested for possessing fentanyl pills disguised as candy.

The increasing prevalence and commonplace nature of these deadly synthetic drugs in our neighborhoods is terrifying. But over the past few years, America’s opioid epidemic has ballooned into one of the deadliest public health crises in the nation’s history, in part because of a loophole in the global postal system that allows synthetic drugs to be ordered online and shipped directly to our doorsteps.

As someone who has spent a career in homeland security, I now know that one of the greatest threats to our homes and hometowns is the opioid crisis. It’s still shocking that in this 21st century digital age, this loophole exists.

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