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Benzocaine 'crack' scam nets drug dealers massive profits

By John Doe, Sep 8, 2010 | | |
  1. John Doe
    View attachment 16673 DRUG gangs are passing off a dental anaesthetic as crack cocaine, a Daily Star Sunday investigation has revealed.

    They are raking in huge profits by targeting kids and hard-up families in the scam.

    Our investigators watched one dealer “wash” benzocaine into rocks of fake crack, making £40,000 from just £400 worth of chemicals.

    But the drug - known on the streets as brack – is as ruthlessly addictive and lethal as the one used in the shocking EastEnders storyline that has seen Phil Mitchell gripped by crack addiction.

    Government crimebusters claimed a massive breakthrough on the evil racket when they seized two tonnes of benzocaine in raids earlier this month.

    Yet dealers say the seizures are “just the tip of the iceberg”.

    We watched as one – known in the underworld as a “bashman” – prepared the deadly drug in home-made test tubes in a dirty kitchen.

    He boasted: “I’ve been selling crack since 1986 and I’ve been a millionaire. In 25 years I’ve never made as much money. Because it cost buttons to make you can give it away like sweets to people who’ve never tried it before.

    “Then your phone doesn’t stop *ringing.

    “It starts off cheap because I can *afford to give it away or give it out on credit

    “But once you’re on it, you’re on it – and you pay like every other crackhead.
    “It’s taken the crack thing into new markets and even new places where people have never tried crack before.”

    The substance – used legally as a dental anaesthetic and which gets users high if snorted or injected – is made cheaply in China and sold on the internet.

    View attachment 16670 For five years benzocaine has been used by drug dealers to bulk up powdered cocaine and boost profits.

    Last week the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) warned benzocaine was a dangerous drug, cheap enough to spread quickly among younger users.

    But in the last six months crack dealers have found that benzocaine can be “cooked up” and “washed up” to form crack cocaine-style rocks.

    The 50-year old dealer from Walton, Liverpool, added: “The washing-up and cooking-up simply purify the benzocaine.

    “Then you cook it up in a microwave with baking soda to make the rocks.

    “Today I started off with 9oz of *benzocaine, which cost £400. That made 250gms of rock, which is worth around 40 grand. So that means I’ve made 100 times my original outlay.

    “If it was proper crack, 9oz would have cost around £1,700 an ounce – that’s a total of £15,300. What would you rather lay out – £400 or £15,300 for nearly the same thing?

    “I sold some the other day to a crackhead. I told him it was real crack and he said, ‘Nice one’ and bought five rocks.

    View attachment 16671 He texted me back and said, ‘It’s not great but it’s OK. I got a good buzz’. And he scored again from me.

    “And that’s a man who’s been smoking crack cocaine for ten years and he can’t tell the difference.”

    SOCA netted 83 barrels (two tonnes) of benzocaine in one week recently.

    An officer from SOCA said the raids were “targeted preventive measures” which would “seriously damage” the criminal market.

    He added: “The chemical properties of these cutting agents have enabled traffickers to target younger people in the UK, from mid-teens to early twenties, with more affordable cocaine that masks its lower purity.”

    EastEnders has come under fire over its controversial crack binge plotline.

    But show bosses defended the storyline, claiming it was educating the British public on “a very serious issue”.


    The initial 9oz bag of benzocaine (1) is split into smaller amounts and “washed” in a test tube (2) prior to being mixed with baking soda and cooked in a microwave. Once cooled, the rocks produced are weighed (3) and split into gramme wraps (4), before being smoked in a crack pipe (5)

    22nd August 2010
    By Scott Hesketh


  1. godztear
    This is the first time I have heard of anyone selling Benzocaine as smokable crack. It has been long used as a cutting agent to cocaine to make better for snorting due to the extra numbing effect, and has more recently used to cut Mephedrone in order to make a more cocaine like substance for sales purposes...but pure Benzocaine sold as crack rocks? I just don't know about that.
  2. Alfa
    The Daily Star isn't exactly a reliable news source. Its possible that no on is doing it yet, but if there are more articles like this, then it will become reality.
  3. Moving Pictures
  4. Oxyman11:11
    As a former user this angers my swimming coach. If he is going to use, then please throw him a real life jacket, not a sponge. Shame.
  5. EyesOfTheWorld
    SWIM is very intrigued by what appears to be a uniquely UK version of early American Yellow Journalism. This article is so full of untrue things it's ridiculous. Everyone can agree that dealers cut coke, and sometimes crack, with benzocaine. But, it does NOT GET ONE HIGH. It's a cutting agent. One supposes it could be sold to someone who's never done drugs before, but a crackhead with 10 years on the pipe? He'll be coming back looking to cut you for his money back, not buy more.
    And how does a journalist decide "I'd like to write a story about drugs" and then get a response "why yes, I'm a millionaire crack dealer! Here is where I live, come by and I'll show the press how I run my scam so I can't run it anymore"??????WHAT???
    No one stays in the game for 25 years and makes millions by being that dumb.:laugh:
  6. mickey_bee
    Shite Shite Shite.

    This article is littered with bullshit, as you would expect from a tabloid article on drugs. Don't give it serious consideration, because it's simply untrue.

    For starters, the prices the 'dealer' claims for crack in Liverpool are insane. As in more than double the actual price.
    Crack in the UK isn't sold in 'gramme wraps', it's sold in weight, (ounces, 1/4s, 1/8s etc.), or in the standard street level bags of about 0.2g.

    It is well known that dealers of cocaine powder have been using benzocaine, lidocaine etc, to cut cocaine, as it fools the consumer into thinking they have a good product due to it's similar physical effects.
    This 'brack' bullshit is just that however. Smoking benzocaine may numb your mouth, but it will do little else, and there is noway that crack smokers would buy that sort of product.

    Pure media-manufactured sensationalist crap.
  7. <*{{{><
    Yep, simply total B.S. Lidocaine (Xylocaine) is much stronger than Benzocaine yet it has only 1/10th the binding affinity that cocaine has. You would therefore need to do a whole gram of lidocaine to get the same effect as a 0.1 grams of cocaine. That probably equals doing 2 grams of benzocaine for the same effect as 0.1 grams of cocaine. Think b4 u believe...
  8. md2020
    Whats the Definition of BUNK? This story.

    I agree this has alot of holes if you do the math its rather bizarre, not to mention the rest, but then people cut up pieces up soap and people buy it if they think its "crack" wasn't that on a "COPS" episode?
  9. Moving Pictures
    Are you saying 2 grams of benzocaine will give the same effect as 100 mg of cocaine? No, I don't buy that. I don't think benzocaine is psychoactive at all. You could eaisly disolve 2 gs of benzocaine in a couple mL of water and inject it. If it provided the same high as 100 mg of cocaine, no one would spend the insane prices on cocaine when they could buy benzocaine for a fraction of the price.

    Please provided a scientific source for your claim.
  10. <*{{{><

    Cocaine: Pharmacology, Effects, and Treatment of Abuse p.84 and on
    Avail. free On google books
  11. hookedonhelping
    I could ask that you to do the same thing. Suggesting that someone inject benzocaine is not very responsible. Where have you read that this can be easily done without risking injury or death?
  12. Moving Pictures
    ^When did I suggest that anyone inject benzocaine? From the little I know, it can cause fatal heart arrhythmias. I said that I don't believe injecting benzocaine would get you high like cocaine. I was pointing out that if it did get you high, no one would buy cocaine and benzocaine would be a controlled substance. You've grossly misinterpreted my post.
  13. lofty
    I got what you meant, it seems pretty obvious
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