Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/28/homeland-security-sting-nets-d.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/28/homeland-security-sting-nets-d.html
Odd that they took so long to get around to what is in essence a fencing sting that cops have been using for ages. I first learned about them from a bad 1979 comedy:
Fentanyl isn’t any more evil any more inherently evil than any other drug. People are not any safer because some Dark Net dealers are getting arrested. It is absolutely a cinch to buy opiates on street corners everywhere.
If someone is using pharmaceutical liquid Fentanyl that is prepared for injection, it is no more dangerous than other opiates. The biggest risk factor for overdose is the inability to accurately know the dosage that is being injested. One of the biggest factors causing the increase in fatal overdoses was suddenly getting rid of the OxyContin that could be easily snorted or injected. This is a major reason that black market Fentanyl became so profitable to smuggle or cut heroin with. Nobody is going to quit using or selling simply because some online vendors are gone. They will simply go to even more dangerous street sources.
I’m sure this just sounds like “more bad drugs off the streets”, but it really just furthers the prohibition that made black market Fentanyl more profitable than ever.
All they have to do is give folks the impression that the feds are on the black site doing stings.
I still want my DMT damnit!
How do I not know about this… ooh and it is on youtube… well there goes my productivity today.
I also want your DMT.
I’ll bet the Machine Elves have it.
Update: Changed “I’ll be the Machine Elves have it” to “I’ll bet the Machine Elves have it”.
That’s a lot of assumptions to make about a street user, especially since Fentanyl is a lot stronger than morphine (50x to 100x) and since Carfentanil (10,000x stronger) is also making its way to street use (where it is not produced by pharma companies and is not always safely administered). When it comes to opiates being used without medical oversight stronger generally does equal more dangerous.
That’s not to say that I support the old prohibition regime, which as you note tends to make the black market problem worse. For harm reduction for all parties involved (the addicts, their friends and family, the community) I support supervised injection sites and “Hamsterdam” zones with social services. That said, if these stings catch scumbags manufacturing and distributing opiates for street use and make the others wary about using darknet wholesale sites I’m not going to cry about it.
It is heartbreaking to see this on BB. I remember when this site was a voice against the war on drugs. Law enforcement is not the answer!
Yep, these hi-power drugs are popular with black market dealers because they’re so easy to hide. Fent is effective in the ~25-100’s microgram dosage, and carfentanil in the low-digit microgram range.
With carfentanil, you’re not smuggling in a brick, you’re smuggling in a few grains of sand, and that makes it far more difficult for dogs to sniff out, and much easier to conceal in something innocuous. So a high profit, a lower risk… Yeah. But much more dangerous to the user because it’s so much easier to OD on.
So agreed. The black market has a perverse incentive that creates more hazards for the user. For a while it was safer, because people were getting “cleaner” regular drugs, but after a few years the risk profile shifted because of the drive to make it safer for the dealer instead of the consumer.
Edit: correction to say that carfent is actually effective in the sub-microgram range. A normal dose for a 75kg adult would be ~0.15 micrograms. Yeah. Holy shit.
But then then Law Enforcement Inc would lose so many valuable cash streams.
For the scale of the operation this just doesn’t seem like much of a haul, am I missing something?
In a recent bust of a pill pressing operation here, the people making the pills were using small cement mixers to mix up the fentanyl, binder, dye, etc. The pills they turned out were coloured and stamped to look like 80 mg ocycodone pills.
Cement mixers are not pharmaceutical pill mixers, they do not achieve reliably even dispersal, especially when even a small clump of fentanyl that didn’t get broken up can be enough to kill a consumer.
After seizing the reigns of an online money-laundering operation. . .
I’m pretty sure that should be “After seizing Claude Rains”.
That would link it up with the headline @FGD135 posted above.
stronger generally does equal more dangerous.
What’s really dangerous is lack of clarity. It’s people thinking their Fentanyl is Heroin that gives us this cascade of overdose after overdose. These sites are a way to get exactly what it is you are looking for, much more reliably (and safely) than from a street dealer.
if these stings catch scumbags manufacturing and distributing opiates for street use and make the others wary about using darknet wholesale sites I’m not going to cry about it.
People who want or need drugs are much better off getting them from a dark net site than from the street. Supervised injection sites and the like are great, but they don’t yet exist here. In the meantime, being able to order precisely what you want, rather than risking whatever the guy on the corner has today, is harm reduction.
It’s not clear if the darknet (really dark web) sites are more trustworthy than street dealers. They might be more useful in that regard for a functioning opiod addict who plans ahead, has the ready cash for a week or more’s supply, and would only buy from a trusted local dealer anyhow.
A degenerate opiod addict, on the other hand, isn’t going to wait around a week or even two days for a mail delivery (assuming he knows up to set up Tor and still has a device to set it up on) – he wants his fix now-now-now and will buy from anyone who’s selling as long as they’re offering an opiod under any name (clarity and honesty in sales being beside the point for the street dealer).
In any case, what really seems to be going on here are not B2C sales but B2B wholesales, and the buying business is usually a local drug dealer or distributor who could be cutting and mixing and re-labelling whatever he buys as he likes anyhow before selling it on to the consumer.
It’s not clear if the darknet (really dark web) sites are more trustworthy than street dealers.
It absolutely is clear. Dealers are rated based on a number of factors, with each buyer leaving a rating and a message after receiving their drugs. There is also a grievance process run by the site in case something goes wrong in the transaction. I’m by no means saying this is foolproof, but it’s safer than buying from someone on the street by factors of magnitude.
has the ready cash for a week or more’s supply, and would only buy from a trusted local dealer anyhow.
The prices are a lot cheaper than on the street, so if you are stealing or committing other crimes to get the cash for your drugs, then you are causing less damage this way.
he wants his fix now-now-now and will buy from anyone who’s selling
If you are in the throes of withdrawal, no, you aren’t able to wait for your opiates. So? Once you have your fix and get well, you can now order from the dark net so that you are covered in the future. Even if this isn’t ever viable for some addicts, that doesn’t take away from the help it is providing to other addicts.
In any case, what really seems to be going on here are not B2C sales but B2B wholesales
No, these sites include dealers selling individual stamp bags (the smallest amounts) all the way up to, as you say, wholesalers of multiple kilograms and beyond.
usually a local drug dealer or distributor who could be cutting and mixing and re-labelling whatever he buys as he likes anyhow before selling it on to the consumer.
I take issue with your framing this as “usually”, but of course this happens. Unscrupulous people do unscrupulous things to make money. If we shut down all the dark net sites, they will just order direct from manufacturers in China. It’s prohibition which drives prices up so high that people are willing to do something they know may result in deaths in order to make more money. If we get rid of prohibition, we get rid of their incentive to adulterate.
Oh, an on-line rating system. That solves everything.
Yes, addicts who have to steal to support their habit always do a detailed budget and breakdown in advance and only steal exactly the amount they need. /s
Really. As in showing evidence of decline or spiraling downward. It’s not a comment on morality (sometimes that goes out the window, sometimes not) but on the addict’s physical and mental state and how it affects their judgment.
It’s also not saying, by the way, that the addict has zero chance of getting sober. The comedy routine about meth pee posted the other day was funny in describing the depths to which she had sunk physically and mentally but [spoiler alert] somehow a switch was flipped and here she is today, 12 years sober.
So guess who they’re going to buy from. Degenerate addicts, unlike functioning ones, are constantly in the throes of withdrawal – until, one hopes, they aren’t.
Those B2C sellers must be real chumps, what with the dark web wholesalers making the real money and street B2C dealers selling at a premium. But perhaps they’re altruists committed to public service, right?
They really should be handing out Good Drugdealing seals of approval so the addict can tell the many honest street dealers and distributors from the handful of “unusual” bad apples.
Manufacturers only sell in large wholesale batches, especially if they’re exporters and especially if they’re selling prohibited substances. Furthermore, if these Chinese purveyors of morphine pills wanted to sell B2C they wouldn’t have the dark net to sell on anyhow.
As I noted above, I agree with an end to prohibition. Doing that also gets rid of street dealers and distributors and dark web vendors and all the other opportunistic scumbags making money in the illegal drug trade.
If addicts, degenerate and functional, need their drugs they should be able to buy them from licensed and regulated and boring shops and, given the dangers of opioid overdose, have them administered by trained professionals. In the best case scenario there are also associated support services aimed at addicts not just “getting well” but, y’know, getting sober.