We talked to a molly dealer about what his life as Boulder's molly kingpin was like, and how he pulled it off. After our interview, we couldn't help but wonder if this was his real life, or a fictional life based on Breaking Bad. Either way, it's a hell of a story.

How did you get into the molly business?

I got into it because I was already in the cannabis industry. I saw how dramatically the pricing was spiraling down and it scared me. Any idea of making enough money to make it worth my while by putting my legal status on the line was quickly dwindling.I thought about going back to my old career, which was very lucrative, but I hated the computer industry. I wanted to stay in something that was exciting. I wanted to challenge myself and still make good money.

Was it full time?

The first year and a half I would say I was still supporting myself working in a legal industry. And once I paid off all of my equipment costs and I had expanded my operation to multiple sites, I was able to afford to not work in that industry. It was just a business decision all together to quit legally so I could make way more money focusing on the illegal business. When prices halved, I couldn't do that. So I immediately began investigating other opportunities. I had a friend who knew someone who had molly, which I was able to buy in bulk.

Why molly opposed to other drugs?

I had a lot of friends in the party scene and they were always talking about Molly. I thought well if they are going to be doing it, then I might as well be selling it to them myself. I started buying ounces of molly at a time for about $1400 and selling grams for roughly 100 bucks, almost doubling my money. But over the course of about six months, this so-called fire molly that they kept giving me seemed to get worse and worse and my customers were complaining. They were telling they had to take more and more of it for the same effect. I hadn't really tested my product besides the very first month I got it. So I tested it out and I was like 'holy shit, I just took half a gram, and I was barely feeling anything.’ No wonder my customers were pissed. I felt like an asshole for selling bullshit for who knows how long. I immediately quit selling it. I got it tested and it came out to be 22 percent of actual product. Twenty-two percent! I was angry but I saw a huge profit opportunity to manufacture it myself. I'd already built a big customer base and I didn't want it to wane too long without me providing for them otherwise they'd find someone else. So I quickly started buying up equipment and chemicals through people and the mail. I always separated the equipment from the chemicals. I came up with a very elaborate scheme upon which I could acquire everything by ordering the materials to different friends’ houses. It’s difficult to find people willing to take a risk so I paid them. I thought I'd have it all in a month. By the time I made my first batch, it was six months later from the day I decided to do it and the day I actually had something.

Were you worried about the authorities questioning your friends?

Well, I suppose if there's any law enforcement reading this article, they should know what some of the main reagents are. Some of the reagents can be used for photography. I made sure if a reagent could be used for photography, there were a lot of ancillary photography purchases; or if the individuals who received them were indeed photographers, I always made sure there was a backstory. I grilled my recipients over and over about their backstories. But I would never order one or two items that were related to something illegal to one place. On their own, almost everything I used is legal. Essentially all compounds are legal. But some compounds are controlled. The ones that were controlled happened to be compounds like sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. Sulfuric acid is the number one chemical in the country used by manufacturers for a million different things. Hydrochloric acid is muriatic acid watered down a little bit. And you can find that in any Home Depot. It's not the purest grade of it but I didn't need a lot of it. Basically everything you need can be acquired, you just have to know where to find them.

How long did it take to establish your product and market?

For four months, I figured out the formula for MDMA because I'm not a chemist. I had to learn about chemistry. I knew all of the academics, but you cannot learn how to operate a lab, lab equipment or basic procedures until you do them yourself. Thanks to Youtube and open-course ware on iTunes, I was able to learn about almost every technique. But none of them were specific to exactly what I needed to do—probably for obvious reasons. So I had to really understand what a reaction meant and how I should go about processing the reaction. And that took quite a while. And a lot of the stuff on the internet is other chemists’ work. They've made 20 grams worth of the stuff and they know their process for making 20 grams. Once I had my first batch, over the next six months, I went from selling 20 grams a week to nearly $20,000 of material a month. And every month I was doubling, sometimes tripling the amount I was selling until I could barely keep up with demand. It was frightening at how popular it was becoming. But one thing was certain, as soon as someone had actual real uncut molly, their minds were blown and there was no way they could buy bullshit again.

Your first batch couldn't have been that good.

That might have been my best one. I mean, the very first five or six batches, I had basically followed a technique that I found on the internet. I refined a couple things but those initial techniques were for very small amounts. And when you're dealing with a smaller yield, you're a hell of a lot more careful. You want it to be flawless because any mistake can lose tons and tons of your yield and you only have a small amount to begin with.

Did quality decrease as demand grew?

When I was producing ten times as much per batch, I was still able to refine things. It was a great product but I would be lying to say I made 100 percent molly. That's impossible to do. I did ensure that all of the toxins used in the process were removed except for the MDMA, which can technically be toxin in amounts over 120/150 milligrams depending on your weight. I noticed with my product, customers could go to bed on my stuff, wake up and feel good the next day and not have a hangover. I also put my doses into pill form thinking they would sell like hot cakes. They sold better than hot cakes.

At your peak, how much were you producing?

I would say during the maximum time, 500 grams a month, maybe more.

Where were you manufacturing this much molly?

Houses on the outskirts of Boulder. I wanted it to be in an area where I knew no one would know me. It would only be for one month and only outside of Boulder. It was expensive to do that but the amount of product that was created in that month made it well worth it, and I ended up keeping everything away from my friends. Only two people ever knew about the locations aside from myself.

Could you smell the chemicals?

I was able to deal with almost all of that smell using expensive filtration systems that had to be constantly replaced because the chemicals would react with the housing of the filtration systems and they'd eventually become compromised. Any vapors that could still escape the filter, I routed through the roof up near the chimney so that the vapors wouldn't dip down and catch anyone's nose. The exhaustion of these vapors was always done at night so people would be sound asleep just in case the wind happened to take it down to a sidewalk. I was extremely careful.

How did you distribute your product?

I was selling to people who bought in bulk. These were people with money who wanted to make money. Any of the sells I made were never through me. I always had someone else deliver the goods and I would collect the money at another time. If someone mentioned it one time on the phone, I'd cut him or her out forever. It became fairly clear about how serious I was about not getting myself in trouble. The main thing is I didn't want my girlfriend getting in trouble. Immediately upon getting serious with my girlfriend, I realized I couldn’t have this shit in my house. So I came up with another elaborate schematic for keeping the product and phone calls away from me. And it still ran very smoothly with a separation between the money and the goods.

That’s a ton of money, how did you manage it?

I converted my cash into gift cards and money orders so it couldn’t be tracked. I used to cash my money in for money orders and then sit on them to let the camera footage recycle. I didn’t want them to have any link to security camera footage if that came up. I assumed camera footage turned over every 30 days.

You are no longer in the business, why did you get out?

Basically, I knew that if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my girlfriend, I couldn't jeopardize it with even the slightest risk. People are people and people are weak. It just takes one of those weak people to want to cooperate. And one lapse moment of my own where I trust them, and I'm under investigation with a preponderance of evidence. I heard through the grapevine that there were task forces specifically for MDMA here in Boulder County. I had to wonder if it was inspired in part by the proliferation that happened through my sellers. Being busted for cannabis is one thing, but I would find it very difficult to get a jury's favor being busted for some chemical. I didn't want to take that risk. And I'm glad I did. I know that there's a big hole in the market but some else will have to fill it.

Do you miss it?

My episode with molly was just another part of my life where I was exploring. I like to explore, try new things. I like to benefit from those explorations. And I benefited enormously by learning chemistry. I'm quite a good chemist now. I'm very good at lab procedures. I hope that anyone who decides to explore these chemistries has a goal in mind. My goal was to make enough money to get out of that position and put my money into something legal. I now have two other legal businesses. I hope people can get what they want out of it. When I look back, I breathe a sigh of relief because I kept that goal in mind.