Drug smuggling innovations bulletin

I’ve just discovered the joys of the Microgram Bulletin, the newsletter of the US Drug Enforcement Administration that explains interesting new drug finds and novel methods for smuggling illicit substances.

It’s a curious mirror of the illicit drug trade and contains numerous mysterious finds, such as playground marbles systematically placed in cocaine bricks for an unknown purpose, or a find of cocaine smuggled as clear plastic-like coating for calendars, photos or magazines.

The bulletin also reports ‘mimic’ drugs, where manufacturers are passing off cheaper (and often nastier) substances as pill-based drugs such as ecstasy or amphetamine.

The publication has been going mostly monthly since 2003, and I recommend checking out some of the earlier editions as they contain some great essays and technical reports on the drug trade.

For example, there’s one edition with an analysis of cocaine trafficking derived from chemical analysis of seized drugs, and another on chemical dumps from illegal drug labs.

The picture on the left is from a report entitled “Cocaine concealed in religious plaques in Miami, Florida” from a report from May this year.

Link to DEA Microgram Bulletin online.

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