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  1. gn2osis
    Note: It's not clear from this article exactly when the raids occurred. - gn2osis

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1492303,00.ht ml

    Dawn raids mark crash of online designer drugs trade
    Trail of electronic data from US websites leads to convictions for Britons buying psychedelic drugs on net


    David McCandless
    Thursday May 26, 2005
    The Guardian



    Police have arrested and prosecuted more than 22 British customers of websites
    selling class A designer drugs online after a trail of electronic
    evidence from busted websites in the US led police to addresses across
    the UK.


    The psychedelics drugs, known euphemistically as "research chemicals", have
    been sold for several years openly on the internet from websites based
    in the US. The US drug enforcement administration shut down the sites
    and arrested the owners last year after two deaths, and several cases
    of people needing hospital treatment in the US, were linked to the use
    of chemicals bought online.

    Customer records and credit-card details extracted from seized computers were passed on to the national crime squad in the UK.

    Once investigators had verified the intelligence, details were sent out to
    police forces. In a countrywide action, named Operation Ismene, the
    police carried out dawn raids in 14 counties, including Avon and
    Somerset, Greater Manchester, and Leicestershire. Court cases this
    month saw several people given fines or community service.

    A variety of synthetic drugs were confiscated in the raids, including
    2C-I, a new psychedelic drug growing in popularity on the UK dance
    scene and described as "the new ecstasy". </font>

    Frequently "research chemicals" have euphoric and visual effects similar to that
    caused by mescaline, ecstasy (also known as MDMA) and LSD. The majority
    do not have street names and are known only by their abbreviated lab
    names, such as 5-Meo-DMT, 2-CT-2, and AMT. Most are too powerful
    psychedelically to catch on with users or dealers, and have only been
    available via the internet.

    The burgeoning online trade in these chemicals was first revealed in the
    Guardian last year. The trade has flourished in the past five years as
    law enforcement has struggled to keep ahead of fast-moving technology.
    Online outfits have been able to create a worldwide customer base for
    designer drugs by subverting the infrastructure laid down by legitimate
    e-commerce such as international couriers and online credit-card
    systems.

    At the same time, chemists working "underground" routinely synthesise new
    drugs to slip through the gaps in international drugs legislation.

    The trade only came to the broad attention of US law enforcers after a
    death in Louisiana last year. In March 2004, James Downs, 22, died
    after an accidental overdose of powdered 2-CT-21 he ordered online.
    Police investigating his death traced his purchases to a Las Vegas
    "research chemicals" website (americanchemicalsupply.com), one of
    several professional operations importing such chemicals from labs in
    China and India. The websites were shutdown in a US-wide sting in July
    2004 known as Operation Web Tryp.

    Court documents have revealed the extent, sophistication and success of these
    e-businesses. Each website had thousands of customers in the US and
    Europe. The public was able to order a selection of drugs with
    "one-click" systems of payment via credit card or Paypal. Ordered drugs
    were delivered next day by Fedex and other carriers. </font>


    Some sites traded openly while others were more clandestine. All the
    websites, including those mentioned here, have been closed down now.

    RacResearch.com, based in New York, ran a slick modern site offering broad selections of
    up to 20 drugs with free sample packs for first-time customers. Adverts
    for the site appeared on Google. Another site - www.pondman.nu
    - appeared to be selling fish and pond supplies but was a sophisticated
    e-commerce drug operation. Police estimate some sites were making
    around $20,000 (about £11,000) a week.

    So-called research chemicals are not officially listed as controlled substances
    under US drugs laws. However, the website operators were prosecuted
    under a law that prohibits the possession and supply of chemicals
    "substantially similar" to controlled drugs. All the operators face
    likely life sentences. Several have been charged additionally with
    causing death or serious injury.

    Last week the operator of pondman.nu - 52-year-old David Linder - was found
    guilty on 27 charges, including drug conspiracy and money laundering.
    He was sentenced to a total of 410 years in prison. He was also ordered
    to pay back $700,000 (£389,000) in profits from the website. The
    severity of his sentence was related in part to the death of an
    18-year-old man in New York who overdosed on the drug
    alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT) purchased from Linder's site. </font>

    Deaths caused by research chemicals, however, appear to be isolated tragedies.
    Like ecstasy, most of the chemicals seem to be physically harmless at
    low or average doses. The underground websites documenting their use
    advise extreme caution. Despite glowing reports of "wow" type
    experiences, the site Erowid.org carries the disclaimer: "It is not
    reasonable to assume that these chemicals are in any way 'safe' to use
    recreationally."

    Because the recommended dosages can vary by as little as a thousandths of a
    gram, a slight miscalculation can trigger an overdose. When smoked,
    just 2mg (a dose smaller than a grain of salt) of the potent chemical
    5-MeO-DMT can cause a short-lived but powerful "trip". Heavy doses, or
    overdoses, have been known to trigger undesirable physical and
    psychological symptoms including profound anxiety, "bad trips",
    overheating of the body, and even death.

    Thanks to the psychedelic intensity of these drugs, few of the chemicals have
    made it as street or club drugs. Their use is generally championed by
    "psychonauts", drug hobbyists, usually young men, who experiment alone
    or in small groups, exchanging information online.

    Many of those arrested in the UK seem to have fallen into this category.
    Among those arrested have been students, primary-school workers and
    people running lifestyle drugs outfits. They were not primarily career
    criminals or drug dealers. Although initially arrested on suspicion of
    intent to supply, many saw their charges altered to simple possession.

    The national crime squad would not comment yesterday on whether there would be more arrests.

    The UK has the strictest laws in the EU on designer drugs. The Misuse Of
    Drugs Act was amended in 2002 to include a "catch most" clause
    outlawing every drug, and possible future drug, from the LSD
    (tryptamine) and ecstasy (phenethylamine) chemical families. The
    amendment is a virtual cut-and-paste from the books of the respected
    American biochemist Alexander Shulgin, who obtained a PhD from the
    University of California, Berkeley. Dr Shulgin, a former research
    chemist at the Dow Chemical Company, re-discovered the recipe for MDMA
    in 1976 and published the recipes for more than 170 designer drugs of
    his own invention.

    While research chemicals are still available from websites in China, India
    and Japan, the illicit online drugs trade has gone underground as law
    enforcers have become more skilled at tracking hi-tech crime. "A drug
    supply route between the US and the UK has been dismantled," said Jim
    Gamble, deputy director-general of the national crime squad. "Anyone
    considering purchasing drugs online should think again, the crime squad
    and other law enforcement agencies will track you down."

Comments

  1. radiometer
    It's a rehash of the story from last winter. Here's the old article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/4111625.stm

    My guess is that it's "news" because of David Linder's sentencing. One of
    those arrested was a BL member and has posted their story there.Edited by: radiometer
  2. sg43
    Is this possible in the USA, even though 2c-i is not scheduled...and seriously this people had to have more then agram for them to get raided...SWIM hasnever ordered more then 1gram attime andhopes they wont waste their time on him.[​IMG] Edited by: sg43
  3. radiometer
    I found this sidebar:

  4. Turricaine
    Although the poster may not regard 600 GBP as a large amount of money, that is big money for me.
  5. transit
    Compared
    to the <b style="">410 years[/b] that David Linder
    was sentenced to and the <b style="">389,000 GBP[/b]
    that he was ordered to pay, if I had been “</span><st1:City><st1:place>Lawrence</span></st1:place></st1:City>” I would have viewed the
    600 GBP as a pittance and have felt a great sense of relief. </span>Yes, it is still unfair and unjust, but in
    relative terms much much much better.</span></span>
  6. gn2osis
    ^ Linder was selling RC's, though. "Lawrence" simply possessed
    them, and pretty clearly for personal use. But he's still fairly
    lucky. Sounds like in the UK some of the prosecutors still have a
    semblance of discretion. I can't imagine too many political hack
    prosecutors in the US taking kindly to the "innocent psychonaut"
    argument, however reasonable it is in the bigger picture.
  7. greg888
    I'm pretty sure this hasn't happened in the USA but that doesn't mean it
    couldn't. It's probably a pretty easy case to show that you were planning
    on using the RCs illegally rather than for "research", especially since the
    whole innocent until proven guilty thing doesn't seem to apply to drug
    crimes in the USA. Some people have been contacted by the dea and
    been "persuaded" into testifying against the RC vendors in exchange for
    immunity. I can't find where i originally read it, but some of those people
    busted in the UK hadnt ordered more than a gram of anything. I believe
    the cops had a list of customers, but no way of knowing how much or
    what they actually bought.
  8. Cuberun
  9. stalefishpeter
    Okay, if they showed up to your house after finding your name on the list, but by then all your stash was gone, could they do anything?
  10. dr ACE
    the pigs could'nt do sweet sod all because with out any evidence there is no crime simple.so no they could not do 1 thing, so screw them nothing personal i just hate there attitude towards life in general natzi bastards!!
  11. psychedelaholic
    Is this only happening for RCs that are specifically scheduled or is it for all psychedelic compounds? For example could you get in trouble if the police found out you had bought DXM or 5-meo-dalt or whatever?
  12. MrMouse
    Operation Ismene was retroactive at the behest of the DEA.

    Let's say you order some methylone and it's intercepted by customs then chances are you'll either get a "Love Letter" or a knock on your door even though Methylone is technically legal.

    So to answer your question chemicals both legal and illicit could pose a problem. The UK doesn't have an analogues act however we do have "catch nearly all" legislation.
  13. radiometer
    Has anyone been arrested or prosecuted for purchasing "research chemicals" in the UK since Ismene? I'm curious how often this may be happening, as surely there are still people in the UK ordering them.
  14. MrMouse
    That's a good question. I've certainly not heard anything.

    Then again Ismene was police inspired media propaganda to highlight the risks of charge and prosecution. Those affected received variable sentences from simple cautions to fines and community service. I'm glad our system acknowledged these were victimless crimes. The worst part for some involved was the local media naming and shaming.
  15. kemistudent
    This was probably political on the part of the UK doing something in response to the US arrests. They probably said hey, your people are ordering from our people. Do something so it looks like your busy.
  16. Fantasian
    SWIF ordered methylone post Ismene and touch wood has not had any problems. Then again he's moved address a couple of times and no longer holds any ilicit substances at his address.
  17. Humanity
    As mentioned in the article all "LSD-type" psychoactives - trptamines - and all "MDMA-type" drugs - phenethylamines - are banned in the UK.

    Not in the US it would seem. . .

    Don't think SWIY has anything to worry about given he keeps his orders nice and modest.
  18. Benga
    just a small reminder that the original post dates back to May 2005...
  19. CHEMDUDE
    HIGH,SINCE when did these RC's become illegal in the uk? from what swim has read,they are legal to buy & posess.swim can order most of the RC's availible and no mention of breaking the law...C_D
  20. CHEMDUDE
    OR is this part of tony blah and his goon squad amending the criminal (in)justice bill? swim knows for a fact that there is a list of 200 plant parts and cacti that is little known about.swim was given a bottle of herbal preperation at a party,swim got busted and it was a DMT preperation,now a class A drug..it's the root bark? of a tree for fucks sake.and when did they put these 200 plant/cacti on the list? and shouldn't we have the basic human rights to know about these things..
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