Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A group of United Parcel Service employees in Tucson, Arizona, reportedly helped import "thousands of pounds of marijuana and narcotics" from Mexican drug traffickers into the U.S. per week at the peak of its 10-year operation, the Washington Post reports.

Details: "Narco-traffickers" packed cardboard boxes with the drugs, and UPS employees helped move them through the carrier's delivery system, officials told the Post. Among the shipments were black market vaping products that have been linked to thousands of illnesses and dozens of deaths. The investigation involved cooperation from federal, state and local officials.

  • Tucson Police Sgt. William Kaderly told the Post that investigators were "frustrated" that UPS was not more proactive in its efforts to stop the illicit activity that officials suspected.
  • The alleged ringleader Mario Barcelo, who was a 20-year veteran at UPS, ensured drug shipments bypassed security and were delivered to their intended locations.

Where it stands: Four UPS employees were charged in state court, and court records indicate that 11 people, including two supervisors, have been arrested in the last two weeks, according to the Post.

  • Investigators fear Barcelo's tactics for routing the packages and hiding the origin and destination of the shipments could be replicated by other UPS employees or people working for similar delivery systems, the Post reports.

What they're saying: UPS in a statement said the company cannot discuss the arrests, as the investigation is ongoing, but it is cooperating with officials in the probe.

Go deeper: Trump vows to designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
11 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's plan to upend Trump's environmental legacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will on Wednesday order a government-wide review of over 100 Trump-era policies and direct agencies to prepare a suite of emissions and energy efficiency rules.

Why it matters: New information from transition officials offers the full scope of Biden's imminent, inauguration-day burst of environmental and energy policy moves.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
12 mins ago - Health

The public health presidency

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden will take office today facing a challenge none of his modern predecessors have had to reckon with — his legacy will depend largely on how well he handles a once-in-a-century pandemic that's already raging out of control.

The big picture: Public health tends to be relatively apolitical and non-controversial. The limelight in health care politics typically belongs instead to debates over costs and coverage. But that will all change for the Biden administration.

D.C. braces for economic hit from scaled-back inauguration

Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The days leading up to and including Inauguration Day typically generate $31.4 million in additional sales for D.C. businesses — but not this year.

Why it matters: Washington's economy is already suffering from pandemic-induced closures, and could very much use the revelry and tourist dollars that Inauguration Day brings — instead of the large bills that will pile up if there's further mayhem or if visitors continue to stay away.