The final confessions of a Silk Road kingpin
Patrick O'Neill recently undertook an astonishingly open set of interviews with Nod, a major black-tar heroin and cocaine dealer who traded on Silk Road.
By our third phone call, Steven Lloyd Sadler was a fugitive.
Facing federal charges for drug trafficking and distribution, Sadler decided he'd rather skip the trial and jail sentence altogether. He was pulling away from Seattle, where he was charged, and we talked for hours. He began that particular conversation on speakerphone, attempting to circumvent the state’s law prohibiting the use of cellphones while driving, but noisy interference forced him to pick up the call.
"They'll be pretty pissed off at me," he said, referring to his federal public defenders.
posted by jaduncan
on Jan 24, 2014 -
The world's most extensive study of the drug trade has just been published in the medical journal BMJ Open, providing the first "global snapshot" of four decades of the war on drugs. To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time. Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they're also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.
posted by mannequito
on Oct 7, 2013 -
Criminal Cartels And The Rule Of Law In Mexico: Summary
The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 25, 2013 -
"Twelve years ago, Portugal eliminated criminal penalties for drug users. Since then, those caught with small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin go unindicted and possession is a misdemeanor on par with illegal parking. Experts are pleased with the results
." [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Mar 27, 2013 -
This "intellectual beverage" and temperance drink (after they took the alcohol out) contains the valuable tonic and nerve stimulant properties of the Coca plant and cola (or Kola) nuts. Or it used to, until they took the cocaine out. But why did they do that
? Not because it was illegal--that didn't happen until eleven years later.
posted by Obscure Reference
on Feb 10, 2013 -
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code
from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness
(1935), Reefer Madness
(1936) and The Cocaine Fiends
(1938). [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 15, 2012 -
"The Mexican drug cartels are at war... with Mormons. VICE founder Shane Smith went down to Ciudad Juárez, near the US border, to investigate this story ... filled with guns, drugs, murder, and Romneys
." [more inside]
posted by empath
on Sep 25, 2012 -
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 30, 2011 -
was a successful Victorian barrister until he was jailed for drug trafficking
. The investigation against him was led by Detective Sergeant Malcolm Rosenes, but before Fraser entered prison Rosenes was charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy
, for which he himself was later imprisoned. In an unlikely twist, Rosenes later approached Fraser to write an account of police corruption in Victoria. The book
has been withdrawn
from sale in Victoria, allegedly because it identifies informers and a "protected witness", but the publishers say
that the material is old news that is publicly available
(pdf), while Fraser suggests that the government wishes to avoid any embarrassment immediately before a State election.
posted by Joe in Australia
on Oct 15, 2010 -
Two minutes of worlds colliding: Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' Roadrunner
and Egyptian Reggae
, as interpreted by house dance troupe Legs & Co. on Top of the Pops.
posted by item
on Oct 13, 2010 -
So what is an enterprising cocaine cartel to do when tight airport and border security threaten to cause one to miss out on a massive boom in european cocaine use
? Well, for starters one sets up shop on Africa's west coast where the police often aren't paid for months and the 4 cars of some country's police force can mostly sit idle due to a lack of gas money
. Oh, and in Guinea Bissau
- no coast guard! In addition to bringing even more corruption
to Africa, the status of being the transhipment point
of about 3/4 of all cocaine heading to Europe brings a Miami-style economic stimulus
. And as colombian cartels are generally more concerned with getting cocaine out of Colombia at a profit than getting it all the way to its destination, we're probably only a few years away from a senegalese Scarface
posted by jake1
on Feb 12, 2010 -
from prison in 1992, a lot of people in Colombia began to lose sleep. Some of these people formed Los Pepes
- People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar - a collection of Escobar's fiercest narco competitors, paramilitaries
and columbian authorities with perhaps even american
intelligence assisstance. After taking care of Escobar the victorious narcos, as the Cali Cartel
, went on to rule the world of cocaine. For about three years. A younger, more ruthless crew inside the Cali Cartel quickly did away with the old guard and established what is still today considered the largest supplier of cocaine in the world, the North Valley Cartel
.With many former police officers in its upper ranks and the assisstance of one of the Colombian military's top antinarcotics officers
, the North Valley Cartel was more likely to run a wiretap
than be caught on one.Still, as to the whole omerta
thing? North Valley Cartel bigshot Andres Lopez AKA Florecita (little flower?), after turning himself in to american authorities, cooperating and serving about 2 years in prison, wrote a book. El Cartel de los Sapos
(Cartel of the Snitches) was then made into the
most popular telenovela ever by Colombia's Caracol and dominated just about every market its played in. Oh yeah, and telemundo is streaming them all
for free with subtitles as we speak. Not quite The Wire, but still a must see.
posted by jake1
on Jan 28, 2010 -
In his autobiography, published in 2007, Blur bassist Alex James admitted to blowing a million pounds on champagne and cocaine. This confession led to an invitation from Colombia's President Uribe to visit the country and see the damage being caused by the drug trade. He went, and the BBC
filmed it (one
posted by jontyjago
on Jun 14, 2009 -
Teapot Dome 2008
-- "The report also detailed cozy relationships between energy companies and other officials in the royalty-in-kind program office. Some 19 officials — a third of the staff — took gifts from oil and gas executives, some with “prodigious frequency,” it said." [more inside]
posted by vhsiv
on Sep 10, 2008 -
Here's an odd unforeseen consequence of the Columbian drug trade: fishermen along Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast have been been getting rich off of "white lobster
"—cocaine dumped overboard by Columbian drug traffickers that, through a fortuitous arrangement of sea currents, washes ashore. [more inside]
posted by Weebot
on Oct 31, 2007 -
Jessica Dimmock: I was approached by a cocaine dealer who made it clear that he was a dealer. Over the course of the conversation he made it clear that if I wanted to follow him and photograph him I could. He took me to a variety of places - parties, people's apartments, the owner of an escort service. The last place he ever took me was the apartment where the project starts.
Jessica Dimmock is the 2006 recipient of the Inge Morath Award
to encourage young female photojournalists. Her series, The Ninth Floor is epic in its savage and true depiction of the reality of drugs in New York City. NSFW.
posted by parmanparman
on Jul 9, 2007 -