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I receive T's from USPS, but online it says it is "prohibited". How do I go about shipping my T's ?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by SkittleBunny, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Walker253

    Walker253 Arachnobaron

    If you received a tatantula via USPS and you were not involved in the decision to receive it that way, that while you may be guilty, it is very hard to prove it. A prosecutor is extremely unlikely to even go down that road. In their perfect world, they will go after every single violation. In the real world, they have to pick and choose. Trials cost real money. An agency that is underfunded in the millions of dollars annually is not going to go after Bob from Topeka for receiving a tarantula in the mail. Bob denied knowing the shipper was going to ship the tarantula that way. Without a clear path to a conviction, even the government is not going forward with a trial that costs all parties in the tens of thousands of dollars. The government loses and then gets sued for damages by Bob’s attorney to recover Bob’s legal costs. The shipper is the easier target because unless they can prove that, in reality Bob directed them to ship the tarantula via USPS or in writing agreed to receive it that way, it’s a he said she said thing.
    This brings me to asking if the violation is big enough to warrant a prosecution. Again, it costs money for even the government to go to trial. A true example, a friend of mine pirated DVDs for more than a year. He sold thousands every month. My company caught him and many others in a massive buying selling spree. They turned everything over to the FBI. They had more than a thousand dvds as evidence. The FBI declined to do anything because the whole thing wasn’t big enough. The guy got fired by my company but walked away continuing to pirate dvds. This was a federal crime.
    I could continue this, but I think My point is made and I need to leave for work now.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  2. bryverine

    bryverine Arachnoangel

    I think the point was that if someone sends me a tarantula, how can "the man" proove that I knew they weren't sending it legally?
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I loved your comment because while you are 100% right, I'm trying to imagine the whole thing with the Italian mentality/mindset/absurdities that varies from fake signatures, the card "Wait, I never ordered such a thing... someone knows my address and pranked me!" from people shipping with written John Doe (The Italian version of 'John Doe', I mean) and such foolish excuses, aside if inside the parcel there's a 'smoking gun' (like email between the parts, the online order, a PayPal or else receipt etc) I mean :)
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  4. Garth Vader

    Garth Vader Arachnohipster Arachnosupporter

    il Signor Rossi?
    Pinco Pallino?
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  5. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Ah ah, Italy is full of Rossi and Ferrari, you can find those two surnames in literally every part of the boot :hilarious:

    But no, no... for me to use imagination is key, so fake names/address, but they need to be credible at 'impact', using a bit of logic.

    I rely on pure 'stroke of genius' :)
  6. Arachnopets

    Arachnopets Arachnoboards Team Staff Member

    Now you're all making me repeat myself. I don't know why everyone keeps missing the point. Do I really have to baby this down for everyone? It's not that complicated to understand.

    You could honestly not know it is illegal and still get in trouble for it. Just because you did not know it was illegal, doesn't make it any less illegal. Someone may not know that jaywalking is against the law. Still illegal and you can still get a fine for doing it. Do you think the officer cares that you didn't know? Nope, they will still want to make their quota and could possibly issue you a fine. All while the person across the street is doing and and getting away with it. Ignorance is not an excuse and will not fly if you go to court. Does every shoplifter get caught? Does every murderer get caught? Does every thief get caught? Nope. Still illegal. You can claim you had no idea it was against the law. Still illegal. And again, it is YOUR responsibility to know the laws.

    Here is an actual scenario for you. They changed the speed limit on the local roads here without informing anyone. So this road that you drive every day and knew the speed limit for was lowered without your knowledge. Why would you change the speed you drive? Why would you even look at the speed limit sign, right? Well how we found out was by getting an actual ticket. Not a warning, an actual ticket for going 5 MPH over the limit, which would not have been over the limit on the old speed limit for that road (it was changed from 40 to 35). The officer didn't care that we were not aware of the change. He said it was our responsibility to know the speed limit (which we thought we did). Sneaky and underhanded but still illegal and we still had to pay the ticket. The "I didn't know" card, legitimately as it was, still didn't matter. This also literally just happened to my dad in the city. They changed the speed limit for the entire city to 25 MPH. He doesn't live in the city anymore but always knew what the speed limit was from when he did, or so he thought. Again, no notification, no idea it had changed. He got dinged too and they didn't care that he was not aware. Bottom line is the law was still broken, knowing it or not was irrelevant. I've said this before, just like a doctor's office will tell you that it is your responsibility to know your own medical coverage, it is your responsibility to know the laws.

    I am not saying, nor have I ever said, that it is a guarantee this will happen. You may get away with it and never get caught. Doesn't make it right and doesn't make it legal. Also doesn't mean it won't happen to someone else. Just because you got away with it, doesn't mean the next person will. If USFW doesn't want to waste their time on small potatoes, they won't. Doesn't mean it is not illegal. They may decide to watch you, for however long they choose. Maybe they want the bigger fish, and if they think you are the one to help them get that, well then you WILL be on their radar. Maybe they will use you to get to them and cut a deal. Maybe they won't. It really all depends on what they want and how they want to achieve that goal. You may be a part of it and you may not. But again, it is still illegal. That is my point. It is against the law and punishment CAN happen. Risking the hobby is almost a guarantee. Why be selfish and risk it all for a hobby you claim to love?

    I honestly don't understand what is so complicated to understand here and why I have to keep repeating myself. I feel like a broken record and that I'm banging my head against the wall here. Stop looking for loopholes and just know the laws. If you follow the laws, then there won't be any problems. You CAN get in trouble for something you weren't aware of. But you CAN'T get in trouble for something you didn't actually do. Look, I can't tell you what to do. I can only tell you the possible consequences of your actions if you do. Obviously, the choice is always yours to make. But this "oh they have to prove I knew the law, or how it was being sent" crap just isn't going to fly. They actually don't. It's utter nonsense and a risk to the hobby that you should not want to take.

    Laws are getting tighter and tighter for this hobby. Why do you think that is? Just think about that for a moment.

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  7. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I don't know why, but 'Bob from Topeka' reminds to me a sort of pork meat eating truck driver, or an Elvis hardcore enthusiast :)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Walker253

    Walker253 Arachnobaron

    I'm not saying that I agree with you, at least in part. I already told myself I was not going to go around this again, but apparently you must think I'm an idiot who just won't get what's right in front of me. You have no knowledge of my life experience including my professional life. I don't live in a bubble nor do I work in some office building working in matters unrelated to the discussion at hand.

    I know it's illegal to buy or receive a tarantula via USPS. I stated early on, I would never ship one that way. I believe I stated or at least implied that I would never direct a seller to ship USPS. That being said, I do understand the economics of trial costs. I do understand the pressure a prosecutor has to only take cases to trial that they are GOING to get a conviction. I do know the underfunding of inspectors of the postal service, fish and game, and customs. I see them all on almost a daily basis. I know that success in their career in their departments depends on them being efficient and not wasting time. I am near 100% certain that if I was receiving a tarantula shipment, that was flagged, and I had plausible deniability of the shipment being carried out in an illegal matter, I would in all likelihood not even be given a second look by an inspector and/or a prosecutor.
    Let's look at the term "Plausible Deniability"

    Plausible deniability is the ability of people to deny knowledge of or responsibility for any damnable actions committed by others in an organizational hierarchy because of a lack of evidence that can confirm their participation, even if they were personally involved in or at least willfully ignorant of the actions. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such acts to insulate themselves and shift blame onto the agents who carried out the acts, as they are confident that their doubters will be unable to prove otherwise. The lack of evidence to the contrary ostensibly makes the denial plausible, that is, credible, although sometimes it merely makes it unactionable.

    I'm not arguing this point so others may think they can "get away with it". I debate the point because whatever police state you live in is not reality. You can "Baby this Down" for me all you want. I am almost 50 years old and even though I started on this board June 12th, 2016, doesn't mean I crawled out from under a rock to experience the world that day. I'm not a keyboard warrior either. I walk my walk.
  9. pocock1899

    pocock1899 Arachnosquire Active Member

    You are making a few bad assumptions, based on a lack of some information, and a misunderstanding of the law. They don't have to prove that you made any decision to buy spiders. They have the spiders. They were going to your house. That's enough. If you look laws and statutes, there is a principle of criminal law called Mens Rea. It means that your "intent" was to break the law. That's what you're thinking of.

    However, civil cases like this are considered "Strict Liability" statutes. It doesn't matter what you were thinking. All that matters is that you did it. This is like a speeding ticket. It doesn't matter what your mindset was, whether you meant to speed or not. ...only that the officer caught you doing 50 in a 30. Further, the officer is considered Prima Facie, ...it's not "his word against yours". His is considered fact.

    If you were to get caught shipping a few tarantulas, unless they were a protected species (like importing CITES Brachypelma species without a CITES permit), it's unlikely (but not impossible) that you'd be charged with a criminal violation. As you rightly concluded, that's a lot of work and money for government lawyers.

    It's MUCH more likely that you will be charged with a civil violation and given a Violation Notice (kind of like the speeding ticket). It's much easier for the government, the penalties are less severe, but can still be significant. Typically, you'd have your shipment seized and the fine would be just a a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, probably no more than that for a first offense. A second offense goes up significantly. This is a Strict Liability statute, so they don't have to prove you ordered it, ...only that you were going to receive it.

    Like a speeding ticket, you either pay it, or you notify them you want a court date. If you choose the latter, it's going to be a a Federal Court, depending on where the shipment was caught (possibly on the other side of the country). They'll notify you of your court date (hope it's on a good day for you, because you can't change it), and you have to pay for your way to get there.

    Also, if you choose to fight it, you open your self up to fines and penalties in the tens of thousands of dollars. If you don't show up, or are unsuccessful at convincing the court, it could be VERY expensive. Jail time is even on table for a court appearance. Because it's a Civil Court, I don't believe it can be over a year (if that's any consolation). Likewise, it's not a jury trial so it's just the judge hearing your case. Again, the fact that the spiders were going to your house is all the evidence they need. It's up to you to prove extenuating circumstances. If your shipper will not testify that he meant to send them somewhere else (thereby admitting to a crime, himself), you aren't likely to win. It's usually not worth the time and cost for a few spiders. Most people pay the ticket and move on.

    The other thing, as others have pointed out, Genus Poecilotheria is about to get a federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. This means that shipping spiders has moved from just a minor thing, rarely on the radar of Law Enforcement, ...to the "Big Time". ESA prosecutions are considered High Priority for the USFWS and USPS Postal Inspectors. They will be actively looking for spiders (far, far more than they have ever been) so many more shipments are going to looked at. A lot of people and shipments are going to get caught in that net.

    Sure, there are millions of packages in the pipeline at any one time, the odds are in your favor. However, they've never been actively looking for spider shipments, except for ongoing cases (like the Sven Koppel, "Spiderman Case"). That's changing. They are already using dogs to look for wildlife items. I've seen and met several of the USFWS dog trainers. They are very confident that it will be no big deal to train them to hit on live invertebrates.

    Breaking USPS postal regulations is just a minor thing. Shipping Endangered Species is a whole different ball game.
    How badly do you really want that shipment?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  10. JoeRossi

    JoeRossi Arachnohumbled Old Timer

    Side note: I might add that I find it very interesting for those individuals choosing to leave reviews and or advertise illegal shipping from other country's here on the boards. Always makes me chuckle LOL.....
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  11. Walker253

    Walker253 Arachnobaron

    You assume quite a bit.

    1. That I am looking to violate the law.
    2. That I would go to court, even with a citation, without a lawyer.

    At least you equate this to speeding and not murder.
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  12. I use sellers who offer FedEx and just place a large enough order order to justify the shipping. Many also offer 2 day instead of just overnight -- LAG is a must for me no matter where I shop.

    My first couple online purchases used USPS -- I was new and didn't know any better. But ignorant of the law or not, there was a small risk of getting caught.
    I don't like to take chances. Better safe than sorry is my credo.

    Not judging those who feel differently, just my 2 cents worth.
  13. Arachnopets

    Arachnopets Arachnoboards Team Staff Member

    I'm not quite sure why you think my post is directed solely at you? I assure you, it's not. ;)

    Oh and plausible deniability is irrelevant. It doesn't change the legal status of it. Illegal is still illegal.

    All that other stuff you think I am accusing you of, is just ridiculous. You're assuming and inferring. I never said any of those things to you or about you. But do go on, lol.

    Hey, it's their funeral. If people want to set themselves up to hang, that's on them. :)

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  14. SkittleBunny

    SkittleBunny Arachnosquire

    When I recieved two packages with slings in it from usps the first time they asked what was in it and I said "I think one is crickets" and she squeemed away like you'd imagine a chubby old lady would when she realized she was holding a box of bugs. Didnt get in trouble though. Now I know better, the right to remain silent is a great tool lol
  15. I'm impressed that worked. Usually crickets come in a box with obvious side box screening and/or plastic sides vents.... are usually labeled crickets (or live bait) and generally chirp. lol
  16. darkness975

    darkness975 Brachypelma darknessi Arachnosupporter

    The average individual at a post office (or anywhere) outside of our hobby likely does not know that.

    So, is there a posting anywhere on Arachnoboards (or in this thread if I missed it) that clearly spells out which carriers are legal VS illegal and what bans are currently being trumpeted for? I know the information is scattered among the threads but I was hoping for a condensed list/chart/etc.
  17. Walker253

    Walker253 Arachnobaron

    I’ve shipped Dubia a few times USPS. Following the rules, I wrote “Live Harmless Feeder Insects”. No venting was required. I tell The lady it’s crickets because they totally cringe if you say roaches.
    Funny thing, there is a legal loophole for shipping scorpions. I can legally ship or receive a scorpion via USPS that can kill me, but not a tarantula.

    I’m done debating the previous issue. I’m not a last word kinda person. That being said, if I ever get popped and pay a fine or worse, receiving a tarantula shipment where I wasn’t aware USPS being used, I will buy Debbie a US Prime steak dinner from a high end restaurant.
  18. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Fai il bravo, eh :)

    :kiss: :troll:
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  19. JoeRossi

    JoeRossi Arachnohumbled Old Timer

    Sempre :pompous:
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  20. Crickets are the only things I've had delivered that were obviously crix. Roaches, supers, waxies, mealies -- you'd never know what was inside.