Ever wonder why someone would choose to make methamphetamine? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out – it’s easy money and it gives them a constant supply of the drug they that are typically addicted to. One meth lab owner confessed to Newsweek, that he made $200,000 a year – tax-free – making and selling methamphetamine and other drugs to his customers. Selling meth can be extremely profitable.
How did he run a $200,000 a year business selling drugs? By using two cell phones, one for those who sold the drugs for him, the other for everyone else and using overnight delivery companies to ship meth to New York City and San Francisco. He also shipped coke to Cleveland and Miami, ecstacy to Chicago, and Special K to Atlanta. He brags that his”sales territory” included most of southern California, from Long Beach to San Diego.
The story of how he became involved in using, making, and selling meth is undoubtedly the story that many meth dealers share. He met someone who introduced him to methamphetamine and he got hooked. Selling meth became a way to make money and support his habit. When he lost his job as an insurance adjuster, it became his livelihood.
“Losing my job forced me to consider the unthinkable for the first time: dealing drugs on a fulltime basis. But even if I could overcome the stigma of such an occupation, and handle the risks involved, I didn’t have enough customers and my debts were mounting even faster. I applied for a few jobs in claims but when they didn’t pan out, my self-esteem hit an all-time low. With a mindset that I had little to lose, I plunged into dealing with the same vigor and work ethic I had displayed in every job I’d ever held”
It paid off for him, for awhile, at least. Business was booming and he admits to having over 100 customers at the height of his “career” as a drug supplier; customers that included doctors, lawyers, research scientists, and even a police dispatcher. But on his 42nd birthday, he found out that one of his customers turned him in, after they got busted for selling some of his coke. He got charged with 11 counts of possession with intent to distribute. Three years later, the court determined that the his vehicle and the seizure of the evidence, were illegally obtained. Seven of the 11 counts were dismissed. The 3 remaining charges cost him $120,000 and required him to make 69 court appearances, which resulted in him losing the case. He spent the next 10 months in prison before being released on parole.
He now earns a living selling hair transplants, he says, but he admits that he never felt more financially secure than when he sold drugs. What about all the money he made when he was selling drugs? He says that he is more in debt now than when he began selling drugs. What the government didn’t take from him, his legal fees have.
Does he think that we are winning the war on drugs? He says ” Most of the time we’re not even picking the right drug to fight. Major League Baseball and Congress are obsessed with steroids, while in basketball, it’s marijuana. But ask any player in either sport what the real problem is, and they’ll tell you meth.”
Will he be able to stay out of prison? He says that every meth-user that he met in prison says they are going to use meth again as soon as they’re released from prison. ” This is a drug that has an insatiable pull even among people who’ve been off it for several years and who have a tremendous incentive to stay clean–their new-found freedom. The war against meth is complex, and I’m not sure what the answers are. But I do know that the way we’re fighting it now makes it an unwinnable one.”
Original post date: June 25, 2008