Officials in Baton Rouge, Louisiana say a growing number of packages containing illegal drugs are being sent through the U.S. mail and private delivery services, the Associated Press reports.
They have found drugs sent in cereal boxes, cans, plastic wrap and dirty laundry. Most of the packages have a California return address. They list disconnected phone numbers, and are addressed to fake names or businesses, the article notes. Many of the packages are sent Express Mail.
According to the AP, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported 1,760 arrests nationwide related to illegal drug shipments last year, a 33 percent increase from 2011, and more than double the number reported six years ago.
Clues that a package may contain drugs include unusual smells and bulges, as well as heavy taping. If mail inspectors suspect a package includes drugs, they must call in a drug-sniffing dog to establish probable cause for a search warrant in order to open it.