How And Why Do People Become ‘Deep Web’ Drug Dealers?
Are they geeky computer nerds like the market administrators? Or are they hard-nosed gangsters who have already been dealing for years, and merely see the ‘dark net’ as a new market for their already well-established products. Well, I downloaded tor (the search engine needed to access the dark net) and visited some ‘dark net’ markets (Agora and Abraxas) to try and message some vendors and find out once and for all what these guys are all about.
The beauty of the deep web is the fact that TOR allows anyone to browse the internet anonymously. The Tor network runs through the computer servers of thousands of volunteers spread throughout the world. Your data is bundled into an encrypted packet when it enters the network. Then, Tor strips away part of the packet’s header, which contains the addressing information that could be used to identify the user such as the operating system from which the message was sent. Finally, Tor encrypts the rest of the addressing information, called the packet wrapper. The modified and encrypted data packet is then routed through many of these servers, called relays, on the way to its final destination.
Of course, most of the vendors I messaged simply did not reply. And it’s hardly surprising. They obviously work very hard to keep their identity anonymous and will probably not risk all that hard work, and a very hefty prison sentence, for a small time student writer; hoping to get something published. But, what can you do. Fortunately, some vendors did reply, and as it’s only a small number I will explain what each vendor claims they are all about one by one.
Medsforyou claim to be a cooperative of small time ‘dealers and blaggers’, who sell prescription drugs and hashish on the dark net market Agora. They operate in the UK, and claim to have been operating for around 4 years online, making around £ 50, 000 per year. This money, however, is made in the anonymous currency bitcoin, so as they explained, when they have ‘cleaned’ and allowed for currency fluctuations, this works out more like 40, 000 per year. They only sell high quality products, which they have acquired through years of blagging the prescription system, or through old school hash connections. They seem very friendly and down to earth, and claim to only be a small time operation run from their legitimate cover business, which sells other legal products on the ‘clear net’. They believe that most of their customers are genuine medical patients, so they believe they are doing more of a service than a crime. But I suppose that does depend on where you stand on drug laws.
Boomer’s claims to be a one-man operation, who sells edible cannabis products on the dark net site Agora. Boomers informed me that he was a chef for 15 years, and is now simply using his cooking skills in a different way; providing high quality cannabis edibles for medical and recreational users. He says he does still have a day job, and only does this online business in his free time for some extra scratch. But with 2000-5000 online deals he is debating becoming a full time vendor.
Boomers claims to have friends who grow cannabis and give him the ‘shake’ (trimmings) to make the edible products. i.e. chocolate, fudge, and lollipops. Apparently, he has not yet laundered any bitcoins and claims to have saved most of them and occasionally uses some on other dark web markets for packaging equipment et cetera.
MegaBudsUK are a small group of self-proclaimed ‘weed buyers’, who simply order large amounts of cannabis from source countries where the cannabis is much cheaper and higher quality (Canada and Holland et cetera) from the dark web, and then offer it to the domestic market for customers not willing to risk borders. MegaBuds have been dong this for almost 6 months and although this sounds simple enough, they claim to not use personal address’ to order the bulk cannabis, and instead have a very sophisticated ‘drop box’, which they cannot divulge any further information about. Abandoned warehouse? PO Box? Who knows? But they seem fairly confident they’re not going to have any problems with package interceptions. But only time will tell I suppose.
So, unsurprisingly it seems that most of the vendors I have spoken to are your run of the mill stoners, dealers and blaggers, rather than geeky computer nerds or hard-nosed gangsters. But maybe those were the only ones willing to speak to me? Or maybe it was all a façade incase I was an FBI agent hoping to get information out of them. But who knows?