An illegal weed dealer in Colorado unveils his secrets to success

An illegal weed dealer in Colorado unveils his secrets to success

VicesOctober 12, 2016 By Ethan Desmond

Opening the door to a small, two-bedroom Colorado apartment, the potent smell of weed fills the air. I'm now in an illegal drug house. On the living room table lie five massive Ziploc bags of syringes filled with hash oil, three others stuffed with edibles, eight, one-ounce slabs of shatter beside all that — and a few pounds of weed just hangs out like basic home decor. In a state where weed is legal, operations like this one are still common. 

What makes people want to still take the risk of being caught?

First things first, where do you get all of this stuff?
I can’t tell you exactly where but most of it isn’t from this state. I get it cheaper from friends in other states. I’m basically just a middleman. Other stuff I grow myself.

What made you get into selling pot?
I started when I was kid, selling dime bags to my friends. Nothing serious you know? But the money was always good, and my parents were dirt-poor immigrants, so it was a way for me to help out. Living on the east coast most of my life, that shit was always in high demand.

Did you ever sell anything else, or just pot?
Really just pot, I used to sell acid, molly and mushrooms, but they don’t move as easily weed does. Everyone fucking smokes weed. I had some fire shit too, but pot was always the top seller.

How do you get your weed to the east coast?
The US Postal Service baby! Best drug dealers of all time. They’re always on time [laughs], plus it’s dirt cheap to mail packages. If it fits it ships.

Do you take any special precautions for a package? Or just throw it in a box?
You can never be too careful. I’ll spend a good couple of hours vac-sealing everything. Then you have to soak it in rubbing alcohol, and then you package it in something discrete, so if they poke a hole through the box they wont see what’s inside. It’s an art.

How many packages do you send per month? 
It depends how quickly my friends out east can move their stuff, usually I do about three packages a month.

What is the average weight you send in a package?
It depends on the product. I don't like doing more than 15 pounds, but fifteen pounds of concentrates is a lot of money on the east coast. Flower is a different story though, because 15 pounds is a lot of space, so I usually do 3-5 pounds at a time.

How much do you think you make a year off mailing weed?
I could be making 200 grand a year if everything went well, but shit never goes well. Packages get intercepted or sometimes just don’t show up. I’ve lost 80 grand on a single package before. It’s a win-lose kind of a business.

That’s a lot of cash, how do you get away with keeping it in a bank?
I can’t use banks. I haven’t had a legit job since middle school, so I keep it in safes in multiple states and invest a lot of it.

What did you mean when you said some packages don’t show up?
Sometimes the packages just don’t get to the house, but the cops don’t show up either. I just say the postman got lucky and treated himself to a little bonus. It happens more than you think it would.

What happens when the cops do show up?
Someone is going to jail. Which is fucked up, it’s just a damn plant. I always pay their lawyer fees though. These are my friends, and friends help each other out.

Are you worried about them ratting on you?
Never, I wouldn’t let them in on the business if I didn’t trust them with my life. That’s why I’ve been successful.

How many states do you distribute to?
Right now I’m in four, I’ve got a lot of friends in a lot of places. And like I said, everyone fucking smokes weed.

What do you do with all the cash you’ve made?
I save a lot of it. I learned early on that money isn’t guaranteed, but I spend some of it on vacations and I give a lot to my friends and family. I helped my mom buy my little brother an Xbox for his birthday last year, it made his day.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In jail man, either that or I dodge the bullet and end up with enough money to take care of myself for the rest of my life.

Have you ever been arrested before?
Believe it or not I haven’t, I think that is what has helped me get this far. I’m totally off the radar, just another random person in a regular car living in a shitty apartment.

Would you ever work another job?
I don’t know man, maybe? I don’t like taking orders from people and the money I get from this is way too fucking good.

What do you think about weed becoming legal everywhere?
I think it would be great. Too many of my friends get put away or charged with minor offenses. It would be bad for business but great for everyone.

You mentioned a little brother, what would you say to him if he wanted to sell drugs?
I would probably kick his ass if he ever said that. I want him to succeed in ways I know I never could. I don’t want him making my mistakes.