Citric Acid in Heroin: How Much is too Much?

Hi again,

Now many of you will know about this video -and the information that came out a few years back on citric acid and heroin -regarding ‘How Much is Too Much?’. But there are still many people who didnt see it and many people who are still using too much citric acid, not realising that not only are they damaging their veins more, but they are actually damaging / reducing the quality of their heroin! Yes, it is true readers! If you use citric or vit C (which is the same but slightly less acidic thus you need a bit more when mixing up) when mixing up your brown, black or beige heroin (this does not affect white heroin which should dissolve without heat or citric), and you haven’t heard about this issue or seen the video -then you MUST take 10minutes out of your day and listen up!

 

Citric_sachets_small

Order your sterile Citric sachets to your home in discreet wrapping, from Exchange Supplies, the good guys in business http://www.exchangesupplies.org/shop.php

So, this is a really good video from Exchange Supplies, every users favourite organisation and at the forefront of developing really useful user friendly, health and harm reduction information and equipment for the drug using community and needle exhanges and drug services across the UK and worldwide.

They have made numerous videos but this is one of their most popular. It is a clear video shown in under 10 minutes,  that discusses the issue of citric acid (or vitamin C) -the powder many of us have to add to brown heroin in order to ‘break it down’ and make it work as an injectable solution. Now, we don’t of course need to do this with white heroin, but dark beige, brown or black heroin made up for injecting, will need citric acid or vitamin C added to it.

Now ok, we all know that. But what this video (and the research done at Exchange Supplies), they wanted to look into just HOW MUCH citric was enough.

 

It turns out that we all learnt 2 valuable lessons from ES working in the laboratory! Too much citric over the years -will fuck up your veins -and also your heroin – so there are 2 very good reasons to use less citric:

  1. to save your veins over the short and long term

  2.  To avoid destroying or reducing the quality of your heroin from over acidification

For further reading and to see the famous How Much is Too Much, Citic Video, click here.

Be Wary of the New Stylee Drug Rip Off

Something to spread among our community friends -a new style of rip off affecting drug users on the internet.

If your gonna do it - pass it on in the safest way possible.

If your gonna do it -be careful out there!

The other day while helping out on the Release Drugs Helpline (Release has THE BEST team of assembled minds to solely eat, sleep, think, create and research ‘drug use by the common dude’ -in ALL its incredible shapes and sizes. A knowledge that is only attainable by a  ferocious interest and total  immersion in the ‘Good the Bad and the Ugliest of every corner of the biggest dark room of synthetic and organic drug use and its role in our society today. We can’t advertise about it too much because we don’t have the resources to do the work that we know is out there and will flood our way should people find out we exist.

Anyway, I was answering a call on the helpline, which covers every kind of drug related call from worried mums and partners, to drug tests at work, to bullying or coercion to detox etc, from staff at methadone clinics,  to ‘what drug is this’ to ‘help I think I am in a mess -am I?’ and everything in between, before and after, when I got an interesting call.

For info on the RELEASE Helpline -click here

A very worried guy started telling me this story. He said his boss was a recreational drug user, who was using too much of everything and was spiralling out of control a bit. One night, his boss and a few other workmates were at his house (the phone guy) when the boss says ‘Hey, lets order some drugs on the internet -I know where and what to ask for’.

Everyone was drunk so agreed without thinking too much about it. The boss needed to use his employees computer right there, and his email -and sent off an order using – FIRST WARNING SIGN – a Moneygram money order – for mephedrone. It was to the USA.

48 hours later, the phone guy (the employee) starts getting emails -loads of them -and then phone calls -constantly. The people on the end of the phone said to him “I know what you did -those drugs are illegal. We are in Ghana and our company have intercepted your illegal shipment of drugs -destined for you in the UK. We want you to send $2000 immediately by way of a Moneygram order to a bank account we will name shortly – OR we will contact British Police and tell them everything and send them the drugs for your prosecution.

The poor employee was completely freaking out -his saw his entire ‘straight’ life crumbling around him in a mess of lies and police raids. He had not told his wife and was trying to hide everything. His boss had no real sympathy and told him to ignore it.

Unfortunately, the dude had to hang up fast as his wife came home and he didn’t ring back. However, he did say that the phone calls had stopped during the last 24 hours and so had the emails. So I am hoping things went quiet and the shitfuckers with the rather clever scam, went elsewhere.

In any case, our advice would have been to ignore it completely. A complete chancers scam, one should just call their bluff, maybe get ready with a story to tell your wife or boss if an email goes around from them with your order on it (which is probably not likely -but possible) -and say you were just curious but didn’t do anything -etc. I am sure you could think of something decent to explain your out of character behaviour.

Of course one must be very careful re buying internet drugs – always do your research -always read between the lines re-reviews, only buy via recent recommendation from a previous purchaser. And don’t inject anything you get through the internet re research chemicals. By the look of the very odd occurrences that happen to people who overdose on cathinones, (it looks like no other kind of overdose -and closer to poisonings from chemical gases or nervous system toxicity like chemical weapons exposure etc. Very disturbing so tread super careful with chemistry and what you dont expect… Google ‘frozen addicts’ on our website and see what one small mistake in the lab -one wrong molecule -can create in the average heroin user.

click this link to see it -its unmissable.

 

The Journey to Freemarket Drugs, via Silk Road?

Many  readers will have heard about the rapid rise and recent fall of Silk Road, the blackmarket internet site that existed only on what they call, ‘The Dark Web’. The Silk Road was certainly accessible with a bit of effort and with just a little more techy know-how you could enter the slightly overwhelming world of the people’s own black market; shopping like you have never known it before people! As it was set up to allow the decent dude to buy and sell, trade goods off the grid, so to speak it soon had become a comfy home to some seriously decent, straight up drug dealers, selling everything from top Peruvian flake cocaine, number 4 white heroin, pharmaceuticals from Adderal (US amphethamine) -to Xanax and everything worth taking in between (Fentynal, Ritalin, codeine, Oxycontin etc). It allowed buying and selling (oh and what browsing!) without the back alleys, the crack houses, the rip-offs and busts.  It was a totally new format. A move on from the thousands of internet pharmacy’s selling the fairly narrow range of psychoactives, it was, one could say, a veritable  Pandora’s box of temptations…
The site was able to function as a marketplace by sticking to a few core values, such as earned trust, reputation, fairness. It was based on the format of Amazon, and so reviews were everything. Sure there were scammers about, and customs all over the world would occasionally intercept ones goodies in the mail, but a rip  off would get spotted quickly and a review would go up and in an instant, your potential buyers looked elsewhere. This review system also worked well for debate about the quality of certain powders, very helpful and something we could do with on our own mean streets.
Silk Road had the kind of technology that made tracing transactions extremely difficult and time consuming, the small time buyers and sellers (or vendors as they are known on SR) operated pretty much with impunity. An attached SR forum allowed everyone to discuss issues, such as who has the best cocaine flake, who is a rotten scammer, who is setting up shop and offering free samples in order to clock up some good reviews that would encourage other buyers. All transactions were made in Bitcoins, that rather fluctuating internet currency that has been unnerving governments of late but now seems to be in it for the long haul.
There are other sites just like Silk Road still operating and using Bitcoins all with varying levels of sophistication when it comes to encrypting your data so plod won’t coming knocking with a big list of your recent purchases. In any case, the story below is about Silk Roads alleged Founder, Ross Ulbricht, and I have copied it here because i think it is one of the better articles circulating that gives a good insight into the whole Silk Road story. Below that, you will find a link to the 1st article to emerged from Ross himself since his arrest, as he, poor thing, languishes in a US prison facing, potentially, life behind bars, a most horrific prospect you’ll agree. You will also find a link to a fundraising site for his potentially excruciating legal fees. (although he is supposed to have millions squirreled away somewhere, possibly though, inaccessible for now, and maybe much in bitcoins..
One more thing; since the feds put the kibosh on Silk Road, many other similar sites have sprung up or been revamped to cope with the huge influx of buyers and sellers, ex Silk Roaders, all looking for a new home to trade from.  Upon investigation, it isn’t easy to buy and trade on these sites, and I think it shouldn’t be made too easy either, it takes quite a lot of effort and IT skills. After all, we really don’t want our kids experimenting with what they might not fully understand. There is no harm reduction information here, readers.
Yet, for the drug connoisseurs and liberty enthusiasts it is a fascinating direction that we are heading in, these sites are certainly ‘the peoples blackmarket’ where success rides solely on ones good reputation -ie, not faffing people around, decent product, helpful back up, timely delivery. Just what we want in all our drug dealers but rarely get.
I’m truly concerned about SR founder Ross Ulbrichts’ liberty, (he is still so young, certainly bright and with some very interesting ideas) as I am certain the Feds will be looking to throw the proverbial book at him. He really did have some admirable ideals. Finally someone tried to circumvent the gangs, corrupt officials and the mafioso that dominate the drugs trade and put it back in the hands of the people where it should be. There are still problems in such systems, but nevertheless it is a very interesting space to watch these days and i’m hoping it will evolve into something useful as a way to protect the average Joe and Josephine from the city’s drug trading mean streets and allow a modicum of quality control. Sure it isn’t ideal, we still cant get our drugs regulated for safety, but this is an interesting.
Thanks to The Daily Dot for the article, be sure to check out their site for many associated Silk Road articles and Dark Web updates (amongst other things).

The Definitive History of Silk Road

By Patrick Howell O’Neill on October 11, 2013

The Silk Road Homepage after the DEA came knocking

The Silk Road Homepage after the DEA came knocking

Before Ross William Ulbricht decided he wanted to change the world, he studied physics at the University of Texas at Dallas, worked as a peer-reviewed research scientist, and finally, served as CEO of a small online used book store called Good Wagon Books. In his spare time, he enjoyed the occasional psychotropic drug.

Then, in 2010, Ulbricht wrote on LinkedIn that he wanted to “use economic theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion and aggression amongst mankind.”

“I am creating an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.”

In May, Ulbricht’s LinkedIn resumé indicates he left his job at Good Wagon Books. What did he do next? His roommates, family, and even his best friends all say they had no idea how he made a living—except that it was online. His LinkedIn profile remained unchanged. But if allegations in a federal indictment filed last week prove true, Ulbricht was very busy.

In  Jan. 27, 2011, Ulbricht anonymously unveiled his masterpiece to the world. In a brief post on psychedelic mushroom site Shroomery.org, he posed as an anonymous netizen who simply stumbled across a new website. It was called Silk Road. He asked for feedback.

The immediate response was skepticism. Ulbricht may have thought that his little marketing ploy had failed, so he wrote about Silk Road on the BitcoinTalk.org forum two days later with a very similar post. BitcoinTalk readers were interested immediately.

In fact, the initial Shroomery post had actually succeeded wildly. Over the next few months, Silk Road became genuinely popular among Shroomery users as word passed from person to person: “Yes, you really can buy drugs safely online.”

Others had come before the Silk Road. From the 1980s to the 1990s, Usenet groups, chat rooms, and markets like the Hive ushered in a revolution in the way the world discussed, shared knowledge about, and traded illegal drugs. Just prior to Silk Road’s launch, two sites—the Open Vendor Database (OVDB) and the Farmer’s Market—specialized in selling drugs online.

Like the Silk Road, these older markets used digital currencies—electronic money that acts as an alternative to dollars and euros—such as e-gold, Pecunix, and Liberty Reserve. Many of them even used Western Union and Paypal to handle transactions. But the majority of earlier markets didn’t even employ anonymizing technology. They largely existed in plain sight, apparently hoping that law enforcement would just miss them in the boundless landscape of cyberspace. They still made good money, however: The demand for online drugs has always been huge, and these flawed markets were scraping off a small piece of the pie. No one had really exploited the market.

Silk Road was different. It was the first market to leverage the anonymizing power of the browser Tor, the peer-to-peer crypto-currency Bitcoin, and the encryption program known as Pretty Good Privacy. Silk Road quickly attracted attention as the safest place to buy drugs online. It was the first website to model itself after the easy-to-use commerce giant Amazon.com, a comparison made by Ulbricht himself in early promotional posts.

By May 2011, Silk Road was home to hundreds of users selling and buying a growing variety of drugs across the world.

“Knowledge about how to access the website spread only by word of mouth,” Dread Pirate Roberts later wrote, “and the only way to find out about it was if you knew a guy who knew a guy who knew how to get into the site.”

At this early point, “everyone was sophisticated,” a money launderer on Silk Road who goes by the handle StExo told the Daily Dot. “Everyone was safe, everyone was cautious. There were no guides because the only people who could access such things generally were the very security-aware people.”

Of course, that would all change. On June 1, 2011, at the too-good-to-be-coincidental time of 4:20pm, Gawker’s Adrian Chen revealed the existence of Silk Road to the world.

“Silk Road was a godsend for me,” a user named SexyWax recently told the Daily Dot. “I was unemployed and miserable at the time… I had thoughts of suicide often. I was just a customer in early 2011. After the Gawker article came out, I began thinking about being a vendor.”

Some of Silk Roads substances...

Some of Silk Roads substances…

Before Chen’s article, Silk Road had hundreds of users. That soon jumped an order of magnitude, to over 10,000. That crush of visitors occasionally brought down the site’s servers. And it also encouraged scammers, ready to prey on curious newbies who, more often than not, didn’t know how to adequately protect their anonymity and money.

A still-volatile Bitcoin made doing business even riskier. Between June and November 2011, the digital currency’s value rose to $31 then plummeted to $2 as it adjusted to the Silk Road rush, making it difficult for sellers to make money. Security difficulties facing the Web’s largest Bitcoin exchange didn’t make business any easier.

To help balance against Bitcoin’s volatility, Dread Pirate Roberts introduced a “hedged escrow” option buyers and sellers in May 2011. For the rest of Silk Road’s lifespan, bitcoins were converted into U.S. dollars after a purchase, held in an escrow, and then changed back as the transaction was finalized, thus shielding both sides significantly from whatever currency volatility may creep up.

Curiosity soon turned into cash. New users made orders in droves and turned Silk Road into a singularly successful enterprise. Bitcoin launched on an upward trajectory as it crept toward stability.

Days after the Gawker article, American Senators Charles Schumer and Joe Manchin wrote letters to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Drug Enforcement Administration urging them to “take immediate action and shut down the Silk Road network.” Just a week after being revealed to the world, the Silk Road brand was everywhere.

“That was great for business,” one Silk Road vendor told the Daily Dot.

The site became so popular that on July 1, 2011, Roberts began to charge 10 bitcoins to become a seller. That price would only go up.

For his part, Ulbricht seemed to be active all over the place. On Oct. 11, 2011, Altoid—the same user who originally advertised Silk Road—posted a wanted ad on BitcoinTalk looking for “an IT pro in the Bitcoin community.”

He asked interested parties to email “rossulbricht at gmail dot com,” a Google account with mountains of identifying information on it.

 

“He is utterly brilliant,” someone purporting to be Ulbricht’s friend recently wrote on Reddit.

“You know how people in college like to think they’re being all intellectual and have ‘deep’ conversations? Well, Ross was for real. He’d lose everyone in the conversation after a few minutes, he was just thinking through things at a level so profoundly different than the rest of us.”

As Dread Pirate Roberts, a name he allegedly adopted in February 2012, Ulbricht became a charismatic preacher with an audience of thousands.

“Here at Silk Road, we recognize the smallest minority of all, YOU!,” he wrote. “Every person is unique, and their human rights are more important than any lofty goal, any mission, or any program. An individual’s rights ARE the goal, ARE the mission, ARE the program.”

Roberts wrote a book’s worth of essays preaching anti-state libertarianism. “The drug war is an acute symptom of a deeper problem,” he wrote. “That problem is the state.”

“Silk Road is about something much bigger than thumbing your nose at the man and getting your drugs anyway. It’s about taking back our liberty and our dignity and demanding justice.”

Dread Pirate Roberts

In his days as a student, Ros s Ulbricht campaigned for Ron Paul and donated to his campaign. He professed a love of Austrian economics and libertarian politics. If he hadn’t launched the Deep Web’s most popular black market, as the FBI alleges, Ulbricht might have had a career in politics ahead of him. He certainly knew how to get adoring masses hanging on his every word.

But not everyone loved Dread Pirate Roberts.

In February 2012, a year after it launched, the Silk Road spun off a subsidiary market called the Armory. A fierce debate started up about the morality of selling weapons. Drugs are one thing—everyone on Silk Road was united in their love of legalization—but guns forced a wedge between users.

Roberts wrote several essays defending the new weapons market and its merits as the Armory tried to establish itself. Ultimately, it failed after just six months due to slow business.

While all sorts of drugs and, for a time, guns have been seen on Silk Road, there was more to the market. You could also buy forged documents, MacBooks, cellphone jammers or imitation designer fashion. There were some limits, however.

“Practically speaking, there are many powerful adversaries of Silk Road and if we are to survive, we must not take them all on at once,” reads the Silk Road Seller’s Guide. “Do not list anything who’s [sic] purpose is to harm or defraud, such as stolen items or info, stolen credit cards, counterfeit currency, personal info, assassinations, and weapons of any kind. Do not list anything related to pedophilia.”

All the above—from child pornography to weapons to stolen credit cards—are easily available in other marketplaces around the Web.

Many people have taken Roberts’s self-imposed regulations to mean that he wanted to run a market with a conscience. While that’s certainly true to some extent, it’s also worth noting that Roberts was a pragmatist. He knew that selling millions of dollars worth of drugs made enough enemies. Adding counterfeiting or credit card fraud only put more targets on his back.

And, as Ulbricht would allegedly find out, the Deep Web assassination market has always been full of frauds. Keeping supposed killers-for-hire off Silk Road had the extra benefit of keeping scams at bay.

For all the impressive technical skill it takes to set up an operation like Silk Road, Roberts obviously needed help.

“How can I connect to a Tor hidden service using curl in PHP?” an account named Ross Ulbricht wrote on StackExchange.com in March 2012. The code described in the question matches closely to the one code used on Silk Road.

The FBI alleges that a minute after posting the question, Ulbricht changed his account name to the more anonymous “frosty.” Later, he changed the account’s email from the Ulbricht GMail account to frosty@frosty.com, a fake address. It looks like Ulbricht was actually crowdsourcing tech support for Silk Road. But in the process, he was leaving a trail for the FBI.

In August 2012, Roberts announced that he was hiring a new Unix administrator with an attention-grabbing $1,000 referral prize.

Roberts explained that the new hire would essentially be an advisor without direct access to the server. Some enthusiastic fans said they passed the wanted ad onto qualified friends from heavyweight tech firms such as Cisco. Roberts said he was blown away by the caliber of applicants.

However, several top vendors lost significant confidence in Roberts on that day.

“He had severe limitations,” said one anonymous vendor. “He grossly overestimated his own skills.”

Users wondered if it was careless for Roberts to hire someone he didn’t know and trust. What if the guy was actually an undercover cop?

To celebrate the stoner holiday 4/20, the Silk Road held a big sale. In the excitement that followed, Tony76—likely the biggest vendor on Silk Road at this point—decided to offer holiday discounts on MDMA, heroin, cocaine, LSD, and ketamine to customers around the world. New customers flooded in to make their first purchase off of Tony76, the most trusted name in online drugs.

The account had originally been registered in January 2012. Within a week, he was selling heroin from Canada, and good reviews rolled in quickly, provoking excitement and even a little hopeful skepticism. Within three months, Tony76  had sold a wide selection of drugs to over 500 almost exclusively happy customers.

Tony began to require customers to “finalize early.” Instead of using Silk Road’s trusted escrow system, customers had to forward Bitcoins to Tony76 immediately. He needed to do this in order to stop scammers, who’d been demanding refunds and giving him bad reviews.

The holiday came and went. At first, great reviews of Tony76’s trademark high-quality ecstasy came in. But soon, negative reviews began to surface. Packages were late and Tony76 wasn’t responding to messages.

It soon became clear that virtually no one was receiving packages ordered during Tony76’s 4/20 sale.

Within a week of 4/20, users accused Tony76 of being a scam artist who just picked up and left with all the money he’d made from the sale. His defenders said that Tony76 had proven himself trustworthy already and that his doubters were “full of shit.”

Was Tony a cop? Was he a scammer? Was he arrested? How could anyone at Silk Road ever know?

Estimates of the total amount stolen ranged from $50,000 to $100,000. For weeks, Tony76’s biggest fans kept defending him. He was never heard from again.

While multiple Deep Web black markets boomed to million-dollar businesses, police around the world were not idle.

Silk Road’s biggest black market rival was busted in April 2012. The Farmer’s Market was founded in January 2007 as a normal website and later moved to Tor. With thousands of customers around the world, the Farmer’s Market was doing $1 million in sales. Instead of Bitcoin, TFM used services like PayPal and Western Union. And instead of the fully anonymous TorMail, TFM used the encrypted email service Hushmail, which eventually handed their communications over to the police.

Many Silk Roaders shrugged off the bust, believing that the Farmer’s Market was inherently less secure because of those operational differences.

The first confirmed arrest of a Silk Road user took place in July. Australian Paul Leslie Howard pleaded guilty to two charges of “importing a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug—which carries a maximum of 25 years jail—and to trafficking controlled drugs and possessing 32 controlled weapons.

Howard’s arrest highlighted the “Australian problem.” Because Australia is an island and its border control is especially strict, mailing contraband is always more risky than to most other locales. Many vendors across various Deep Web black markets charge extra for Oz-bound products, if they allow the purchases at all.

Silk Road marched on. By August 2012, a Carnegie Mellon study by Nicolas Christin estimated the marketplace was doing approximately $22 million in sales in six months. In 2013, he adjusted his estimates to $30-$40 million.

At the time, numerous vendors scoffed at that number as too low. Today, the FBI alleges that the numbers are many times higher.

Silk Road boasted at least 220 distinct vendors in February 2012. It grew to 564 in July 2012.

Even amidst a booming population, there was an almost palpable sense of camaraderie in the Silk Road community. Many more knowledgeable users strived to help new users whose safety was put at risk by inexperience or downright incompetence.

“It’s a shame we’re all outlaws,” oldtoby wrote. “I’d enjoy grabbing a stout with some [Silk Road] forum folk sometime.”

By November 2012, Silk Road was in “uncharted territory” in terms of users, Roberts wrote. On Nov. 8, Roberts announced the first major cyberattack on Silk Road. A hacker had changed product images, added a “quick buy” option that included a Bitcoin address, removed shipping options, and then made it impossible to place a legitimate order for nearly a week. Around that time, several top Silk Road vendors had their accounts drained of all their money in a single day. Roberts attempted to keep the stealthy heist quiet and clashed with a moderator who spoke about it in public. The moderator was removed from staff. Several users wondered if the hacker was the new proud owner of Silk Road’s entire database. If so, would Roberts be honest about it? Could he even know for sure? Despite the attacks,  Silk Road felt near unstoppable to many of its users. The market was a mainstream smash. Teenagers regularly posted about their Silk Road deals on blogs. The unofficial Silk Road Facebook page grew to 2,000 fans. A major MDMA bust at Tulane University only seemed to confirm Silk Road’s ubiquity. The black market’s name could be heard in cities around the world. Major scams popped up occasionally. In February 2013, an Australian MDMA vendor named EnterTheMatrix conned customers out of tens of thousands of dollars in a Tony76-style sale. Most Silk Roaders—even the angry ones who lost out—shrugged it off as the cost of business. Silk Road’s unprecedented growth meant that people who were utterly incompetent began to do business there, too. Some vendors used regular email services such as Gmail, and buyers shared tracking numbers on packages. Some of the wealthiest drug dealers on the site didn’t use encryption. When one vendor uploaded a picture of heroin, he didn’t remove the photo’s metadata, thus revealing his exact location. Roberts took the photo down. But mistakes kept happening. “It really blows my mind how some people choose to vend on here without knowing, well, shit,” Silk Road user HEATfan wrote. It was impossible for anyone to protect all Silk Roaders from themselves. In early 2013, Silk Road staff and top vendors began “receiving emails from law enforcement offering financial incentives and immunity to prosecution to use our positions of trust to completely hammer the Silk Road defenses of vendors and if possible, Dread Pirate Roberts,” an anonymous vendor told the Daily Dot. The attacks seem to have taken a toll on Roberts. Most vendors passed forwarded him the police emails. But one vendor told the Daily Dot that Roberts seemed legitimately concerned  that someone would eventually turn. Only a short time prior, Roberts had acquired a reputation for dropping long missives about libertarian revolution. In 2013, those letters slowed drastically. One anonymous vendor said that Roberts’s demeanor changed drastically early in the year. In January 2013, the FBI claims that Roberts paid $80,000 for the torture and murder of a vendor he believed was stealing from Silk Road. The man paid for the hit turned out to be a U.S. federal agent. The torture and murder was staged. In March 2013, another federal charge alleges Dread Pirate Roberts was confronted by a Silk Road user named FriendlyChemist, who boasted of owning a long list of real names and addresses of Silk Road vendors. Unless Silk Road paid him $500,000, FriendlyChemist said he’d publish those names. Roberts apparently agreed to pay $150,000—but not to his blackmailer. Instead, he hired a hitman anonymously over the Deep Web, tasking him the murder of FriendlyChemist, whom he believed resided in Canada. No murders in Canada during the time period match the descriptions of the hit. The murder charges are glaring contradictions against the high-minded ideals that both Ross Ulbricht and Dread Pirate Roberts have publicly professed. On May 24, a Silk Road user sent Roberts a private message warning that an external IP address had been “leaking” from Silk Road during another round of maintenance. The FBI believes this address was a virtual private network (VPN) server, a secure network through which Roberts could remotely log into Silk Road from his own computer. One way to understand the technology is to imagine a VPN being a “private tunnel” between two computers, which allowed Roberts to access the Silk Road server without anyone knowing he was behind it. The leaked IP address resolved to a server company in the United Kingdom, an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation told the Daily Dot. That source believes that Roberts soon changed companies as a result of the leak. The FBI criminal complaint lists a number of Silk Road-related IPs, one of which implicates dataclub.biz, a server-hosting company, as the host for Silk Road’s forums. The hosting for Silk Road’s marketplace was separate. The locations are still unconfirmed. Although Roberts deactivated the code that leaked the IP and changed the way he accessed Silk Road, the information still eventually reached the FBI. No one outside of the FBI is quite sure how at this point. Silk Road’s hosting company was later subpoenaed by the FBI, who found the server contents wiped except for information on the last login from Laguna Street in San Francisco, right down the block from Ross Ulbricht’s residence. By July, Roberts was clearly intent on spending money on protecting himself and defending the Silk Road from law enforcement and hostile attacks. The FBI alleges that Ulbricht ordered nine fake IDs as part of an effort to build up a stock of servers to bolster Silk Road’s security. The IDs, which Ulbricht ordered on Silk Road, were intercepted at the Canadian-American border on July 10.

The Arrest of Ross Ulbricht

On July 23, Homeland Security visited Ulbricht’s San Francisco home and questioned him about the fake documents. For whatever reason, he told the agents that “hypothetically” anyone can buy IDs off of Silk Road on Tor. Shortly after police visited Ulbricht’s home, Dread Pirate Roberts agreed to his first on-the-record interview with a journalist. Forbes’ Andy Greenberg had sought the interview for eight months before finally landing it. The scoop, Roberts told Greenberg, was that Silk Road had been sold. He wasn’t the original owner of the black market. Roberts granted the interview to Forbes on July 4, just weeks before the FBI came knocking on his door. Even at the time, many Silk Roaders immediately disbelieved Roberts’ new claim, saying that it was just as y likely that there was a single person behind Roberts as half a dozen. On the day the interview made headlines around the tech world, Roberts publicly declared the war on drugs over, “and the guys with the bongs have won.” Freedom Hosting, an anonymous Web-hosting company and perhaps the most important and popular Deep Web service in existence outside of Silk Road, was busted Aug. 3. Few details have emerged about how law enforcement found and took down Freedom Hosting. Its fall shook the entire anonymous Web. Roberts felt compelled to address his website and confirm that he still had control of Silk Road. Aside from the largest trove of child pornography on the Internet, Freedom Hosting’s most interesting client was TorMail, the anonymous email of choice for Silk Road users. The FBI came into possession of the TorMail servers and all its data when they busted Freedom Hosting. Although Roberts has said he never used TorMail, almost all of his closest advisors and biggest sellers did, many of whom did not take basic precautions such as encrypting messages. Every unencrypted message became property of American and Irish law enforcement, who are believed to have shared the information with other agencies around the world. In addition to the pressure from law enforcement and the two murders that Roberts is charged with ordering, Silk Road faced a press from competitors. The rival black market Atlantis had a well-built website, produced TV-worthy commercials, and made several big waves across media.  A series of July upgrades on Silk Road were widely seen as a response to Atlantis. Black Market Reloaded remained a formidable rival and the foremost weapons market on the Deep Web. However, despite its apparent early successes, Atlantis suddenly closed on Sept. 20. Citing “security concerns outside of our control,” the market’s owners killed it for good. Due to a long-held suspicion of Atlantis, the shutdown was met with gloating from some Silk Roaders. However, one question underpinned even the biggest gloat: If someone can get to Atlantis, is it possible that they can get to Silk Road? Just days later, one of the oldest and most knowledgeable members of the Silk Road community announced that he was leaving. Kmfkewm, who once ran the Open Vendor Database, another online drug market, bid farewell to Silk Road for good on Sept. 29 for no discernible reason. He told fellow community members that his departure was nothing to worry about. Three days later, on Oct. 2, Silk Road was seized by the FBI. The criminal complaint alleges that 1,229,465 transactions were completed on the website from Feb. 6, 2011 to July 23, 2013, involving 146,946 unique buyer accounts  and 3,877 unique vendor accounts. The total revenue generated was 9,519,664 bitcoins, equivalent to $1.2 billion in revenue. Silk Road collected 614,305 in commission, or $79.8 million—although those numbers are difficult to adjust for the fluctuating value of Bitcoin. If these numbers are even close to true, Silk Road was many times bigger than any previous estimates. Police found Ulbricht in the Glen Park branch of the San Francisco Public Library. He’d taken a seat in the sci-fi section with his laptop. Patrons reported a crashing sound around the building. FBI agents descended upon Ulbricht as soon as he opened his laptop and entered his passwords, seizing his machine and marching him out. The police confiscated approximately $3.6 million in bitcoins. The end of Silk Road, along with the arrest of and allegations against Ulbricht, have inspired an outpouring of grief from Silk Roaders “This is supposed to be some invisible black market bazaar. We made it visible,” an unnamed FBI spokesperson told Forbes. “[N]o one is beyond the reach of the FBI. We will find you.” Despite that threat, the arrests of Silk Road vendors, and the end of the Deep Web’s most famous black market, the illegal commerce of the Deep Web marches on. Other marketplaces, such as Black Market Reloaded and Sheep Marketplace, are already attempting to fill the enormous vacuum left by Roberts. Over a dozen major Silk Road vendors have expressed interest in building new black markets, hoping to make launch something even bigger. Dread Pirate Roberts took a black market and forged it into a profound ideological statement—or was it just the new back-alley dope deal? Either way, Roberts launched a Silicon Valley success story, valued by the FBI at over $1 billion. No one should be surprised when an armada of new pirates emerges from over the horizon. Illustration by Jason Reed

Silk Road Homepage

NOTE: Read the 1st interview from Ross Ulbricht, since his arrest this Oct. “This is the first time I’ve been arrested,” Ulbricht volunteers. Really, I ask, no DUIs, no college high jinks? “Nope.” He tells me very matter of factly that he spends 20 to 22 hours a day in his cell alone, with just a window in the door to the pod, and a blurred one to the outdoors. He gets let out for showers or to go out to the yard accompanied by guards, but not with other inmates. He can hear other prisoners talking through the walls, but rarely adds anything. His daily interactions: a few comments with guards, one hour of phone time a day to family members and friends who’ve registered to receive his calls. He eats in his cell—the food’s not half bad, he says. The other inmates in his pod know who he is from watching the TV news, but Ulbricht has no view of the TV from his cell. Of course—do I need to even ask?—he isn’t permitted internet access. For a man who allegedly built the world’s most intricately connected online drug empire, Ulbricht now finds himself in the most unlikely of places: Totally out of the loop. He says he’s been “isolated” from the wall-to-wall press coverage that’s been dissecting everything about his life, from his high school pencil drawings to his adult turn towards libertarianism. I tell him about the reporter from Forbes who tracked down his former roommates on 15th Avenue, and he looks astonished. He repeats the statement back to me as a question, unbelieving. When I say his name on Google brings up an endless string of news stories about his takedown, he replies that it used to only bring up hits about his accomplishments in physics. To read the full article in situ, click here along with many other background articles.

More:

Undercover agents made over 100 Silk Road purchases. The Rise and Fall of Silk Road’s Heroin Kingpin (a story about a heroin vendor on Silk Road – worth a read!)

Traveling the Silk Road: A measurement analysis of a large anonymous online marketplace; Nicolas Christin, Carnegie Mellon INI/CyLab (A Silk Road study)

The Incredible Story behind ‘The Frozen Addicts’

English: MPPP; 1-methyl-4-phenyl-4-propionoxyp...

MPPP; 1-methyl-4-phenyl-4-propionoxypiperidine, desmethylprodine Deutsch: 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-4-propion-oxy-piperidin; 3-Desmethylprodin or synthetic heroin -however one mistake in the lab and it becomes an injectable nightmare.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A nightmare of immense proportions for any opiate user watching this film. Watch the simply mindblowing film about a handful of opiate users in California in the early 1980’s who, after injecting what they thought was heroin, woke up completely frozen – in body and voice – but not mind. Locked into a prison of their own bodies, their stories confounded doctors until bit by bit they managed to unravel what had happened to them and so began the long, long road as they endeavored to cure them of their condition, despite at times creating other situations that were as bad if not worse than the original Parkinson-like condition they initially faced.

Crucially, I think it is worth mentioning that the underground chemist who was trying to manufactuer a synthetic form of heroin known as MPPP, rushed the process and came up with something called MPTP, a drug that destroyed peoples dopamine receptors, leaving them unable to produce dopamine and thus leaving them frozen in their bodies. See text below the video for link to information on MPTP and MPPP. This is yet another byproduct of prohibition, where the law allows underground labs to flourish and horrendous mistakes like this to occur. This is not to say mistakes don’t occur in big pharma although in general, research techniques ensure such enormous problems are found before such drugs find their way to market. You can also follow up the stories of these amazing individuals whom our hearts go out to, on google etc.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/RyXXRG_UqBM&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

NOTE on MPPP and MTPT: While MPTP itself has no psychoactive effects, the compound may be accidentally produced during the manufacture ofMPPP, a synthetic opioid drug with effects similar to those of morphine and pethidine (meperidine). The Parkinson-inducing effects of MPTP were first discovered following accidental ingestion as a result of contaminated MPPP. For more info on MPTP and MPPP, click here.

Anthrax Warning for European Heroin Users -especially Brits

ANTHRAX WARNING -including the most up-to-date and well researched guide on the subject of ANTHRAX and the contamination of street heroin -and ARE WE AT RISK? Thanks to INPUD for the information below and their new guide.

OK, so the picture is pretty horrid but it is nothing to how bad an anthrax infection can get -along with it being FATAL for some of our heroin using peers. This is an extremely serious (sometimes fatal) infection that, although still uncommon, it continues to rear its deadly head since it first popped up on the scene a few years back. Now this affects:

INJECTORS of ALL MODES -intravenous AND intramuscular AND subcutaneous (or in street speak, mainlining, and IM (in the muscle like top of arm, front of thigh, or muscle area of bum cheek), or skin popping – right into the fat/skin (not deeper, like into the muscle).

SMOKERS – Yes, you heard right. This also affects heroin smokers.

SWALLOWING – Yep, you read it right. Read the guide for more info on gastrointestinal infection from swallowing or inserting street (anthrax spore infected) heroin (smuggling, hiding internally etc -this concerns you too!)

INPUD’s INPUT

INPUD (International Network of People who Use Drugs) have thoroughly researched the available information on anthrax spores in our street heroin and how it has been affecting users AND popping up in places across Europe, mainly Britain and have produced a brief (but thorough) guide (PDF) for print out, sharing and dissemination amongst your peers and user groups. See also INPUD’s main website and blog. (copy freely but credit INPUD!)

Just to pull out a few interesting bits, INPUD’s up to date and well researched guide for heroin users and health workers on anthrax can be found here; INPUDanthrax …

Black Poppy lifted some text from INPUD’s excellent guide in order to flesh out the background a bit -and why it should concern us, especially in the UK. INPUD’s Guide states;

“…Subsequent to the crisis in Scotland during 2009/10, where an outbreak of anthrax infected 47 people, causing 14 fatalities; further cases and deaths have been reported this year in Germany, Denmark, and France. Scotland has again been affected, with a confirmed case in Lanarkshire on 24th July this year….

……Although at the time of this publication, no further cases have been reported on the European mainland, anthrax infection continues to infect, hospitalise, and kill heroin users throughout the UK.”

It goes on to say;

“…..The spores found in the heroin responsible for the recent cases in Germany were shown to be indistinguishable from those found in the 2009/10 cases in Scotland. This suggests that the same batch of heroin could be responsible….

INPUD’s guide goes on to state clearly….

“…Research published subsequent to the 2009/10 outbreak has produced no evidence of nefarious intent, with the heroin likely being contaminated by the use of bone-meal based cutting agents, or contact with animal hides whilst in Turkey, during transit from the Afghan source…”

The guide shares a bit of background as well, which i have again copied for you here…
On the 17th June 2012, a heroin injector presented to a Berlin Hospital with symptoms of cutaneous anthrax i.e. infection at the injection site. Symptoms were black eschar (black dry scab), massive swelling, erythema (redness) and thrombosis.
Diagnosis was confirmed at the Robert Koch Institute by PCR, and serology showed that this was an anthrax infection due to the injection of an anthrax-contaminated batch of heroin.
Subsequent to the crisis in Scotland during 2009/10, where an outbreak of anthrax infected 47 people, causing 14 fatalities; further cases and deaths have been reported this year in
Germany, Denmark, and France. Scotland has again been affected, with a confirmed case in Lanarkshire on 24th July this year.

This is the best guide we have seen on this subject –

For the INPUD ANTHRAX Guide:  INPUDs Guide on ANTHRAX for heroin users
Just about everything you need to know right now about anthrax is in this guide.
Topics include;
What is anthrax?
Routes of Infection
Smuggling heroin
Can you identify it?
Can you filter out the anthrax spores?
White Vs Brown (heroin)
Signs and Symptoms
What to look out for.
Advanced Infections
Treatment
Risks to Family and Friends?
Useful links – and more. Including some very unpleasant (though real) pictures.
After thought...; Anyone who has a proven case of anthrax in any country, please dont forget (if you or a friend is able) to let your local large drug service or drug user group know about it (so we can share information, anonymous is fine of course) -or even tell us – at BP or INPUD.
It is essential these episodes are recorded -and sometimes, as we well know, we may need to do it ourselves to make sure its done and disseminated.  It wouldn’t be impossible for some medics around the entire globe to attempt to treat what might be a milder anthrax case and then not identify it or record it properly etc etc. Is it possible there could be more cases globally?? There may have been deaths not recorded accurately, (now that feels like a pretty common scenario for ‘junkies’ who die – (I’m going to be really rocking the boat here but…) 30 years experience tells me that health issues (like ulcers, COPD, necrotic skin around abscesses not treated, kept or healing  properly etc (esp if one’s homeless etc) can be overlooked because, for example, as one coroner said on camera “We leave the junkies til last because we already know they’re OD’s so it don’t take us long at the end of the day”…..I swear to God I heard a coroner say that. What if the drug user also has HIV or HCV, then they have to be kept quarantined. Hassle, hassle, hassle! Especially if they have no loved ones…What happens then if that person is covered in weeping sores and the coroner is overworked, underpaid AND a bigot -all at the same time!
No, (we need a little quiet investigation one of these days soon regarding the attitudes towards ‘junkies’ at coroners and funeral places my friends…) OK so it is rocking the boat but how many more of us to just get stamped ‘OVERDOSE’ on the death certificate when there could have been a myriad of things that precipitated that.
I know its complex, and people are busy and services short of money, but sometimes its worth remembering the very very painful reality that junkies are loathed mostly, or at least misunderstood, or for medics confronting a dead ‘opiate addict’ for example on a busy workday- suddenly shoot straight to the top (or bottom) of the pile -as a very straightforward case of an opiate overdose….How many times has that answer not provided family and friends with a believable occurrence  How many times are there no police reports clearly written out, or evidence gathered, or questions asked or investigated, friends questioned, or the personal doctors getting involved…? Let alone proper toxicology reports…
In fact – I was involved in research in Britain about 8 or 10 years back amongst coroners within the UK (or maybe it was across the 33 boroughs in London…). In any case it was voluntary for them to take part, and only a small percentage did, but what that told us was worrying. Ill dig some material out – but check out your country, ask your academic mates and allies to help; just how DO they record the number of drug related deaths in your country – and where are those results fed into?
Have an off the record chat with your local coroner, or funeral dude/dudette, morgue technician etc. Write an article about it.
Dont forget to check out http://inpud.net and http://inpud.wordpress.com
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