Busted by online package tracking, drug dealer gets more than 8 years in prison

(credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D.)

A Massachusetts man who bought methylone (also known as "molly") online from China was sentenced Monday to eight years and four months in prison.

Harold Bates pleaded guilty in September 2015 to importing methylone and one count of possession by an inmate in prison of a prohibited object. Curiously, the man was busted by the digital trail he left on the USPS tracking website, according to the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The judge’s memorandum and order from April 2015 explains that in October 2013, postal investigators found 500 grams of a substance that turned out to be methylone in a package to be delivered in Hollywood, Florida. That statement may suggest investigators found the suspicious package first and then manually checked IP logs to see if anyone had been searching for tracking information. Once they located Bates’ IP address, they could then check to see if it had been used to search for other packages.

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