Sorry for the novel :)
Many moons ago I promised to drop in and share the story that has played out since I have been active here. I’ve dropped in a few times, making it no secret that I was busted, but I hope that sharing more details will help others realize that this hobby can get ugly fast. I was guilty of getting lazy, ignoring a lot of the rules of the game, yet I still managed to avoid detection until I became the target of someone else trying to save their own ass. Suppose I should start from the beginning.
In the first week of 2012 I attended a small local concert. It was in a Dead bar. The band was a mix of major performers from much larger groups, but the environment was incredibly intimate compared to the kind of crowd most of these musicians draw. Maybe 3-400 people at most. It was a group you wouldn’t really know about unless you were in the scene, and most people off the streets would shy away from wandering in based on ticket price. It seemed like the least likely place to worry about cops or informants.
I had taken 5 hits of L and was enjoying the show. Jumping from group to group of ‘friends’, people I had gotten to know on the circuit, but didn’t really know outside of concerts. I had been on a little mission for a while, trying to share DMT with anyone willing to try it. So I was making my usual rounds when I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in a while. We got to chatting like we’d seen each other yesterday. You don’t think much of it most times. People are known for taking off on tour without much thought. One good show puts a wild hair up their ass and they disappear for months, or even years, taking in other parts of the country. Some people do it for fun, others have something they are running from, so you kinda learn not to ask about it.
We spent a good bit of time talking about experiences with various substances we’d had since we were last in touch. When I realized he hadn’t yet tried DMT I was more than willing to get him to blast off. He didn’t seem too interested in doing it on the spot. He wanted to be at home. I gave him a solid hit and he bought me a beer and we went our separate ways. Not even 10 minutes later I smell the spice in the air and look around and see him taking his hit. Cool, must have been burning a hole in his pocket J. Another 15 minutes pass and he comes up to me with his eyes glazed over, like he had just finished crying, in a good way, and thanked me thoroughly.
The performance at hand was a two night event. On the second night we crossed paths again and he asked if he could buy some. He wanted to share with some friends and felt he could make some money if he could get enough. He wanted an 8th. I agreed it wouldn’t be a problem, but didn’t have that much on hand so we’d have to meet later in the week. The next day he called and said he had more people interested than he’d figured and could get the money together for an ounce if I could swing that much. I didn’t have that much on hand, but I was sitting on nearly 25kg of bark. I had a feeling bark was going to get on the radar soon. I had no intentions of selling quantity, I just wanted enough on hand that I wouldn’t have to worry about it for years once it stopped making it through customs. Because of that, I didn’t have to think for long before letting one of them go. I told him it might take me a few days but I could handle it. He didn’t know I was producing it myself. I never said as much, but he might have guessed I was extracting at that point.
We set up a time, but thanks to procratination, I was running late on my end and had to push things back a few hours (which must have irritated the undercovers who were sitting at the end of my street waiting for me to leave the house). As soon as everything was dry, my wife and I jumped in the car and headed across town to meet the guy. He claimed he was heading across town from wherever he had been waiting for me (which was just across county border, giving the task force he was informing jurisdiction), so I had offered him a ride wherever he needed to go.
When he got into the back of my car we found a spot near the back of the parking lot of a large retail outlet. Hoping for a bit of privacy. I put a half pint jar loaded with DMT down on the seat next to his leg and he counted out the cash. He was puzzled when he came up 100 short. I told him not to worry about it and took the money. At this point he froze. I was ready to go. He didn’t go for the jar. I motioned for him to put it away. Don’t want that kinda thing in plain site as we drive across town. Still froze. I’m turned in my seat looking at him and I see a truck pull in behind me, as if it was trying to park in the spot I was occupied it. It was coming in fast enough I thought it was going to hit me. “What the fuck is this guy doing?” I said out loud and turned to my wife, thinking maybe she would have an answer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the same thing happening in front of me, this truck actually hit us. I turned around again and saw the guilt on my buyers face, then I realized what was going on. “You’re a piece of shit.” I said calmly, and looked out my driver window to see what I expected. Half a dozen plainclothes with their guns drawn, screaming all the stuff you expect them to scream at you when you’ve done something they don’t like. I hadn’t yet put the money away, so when they ripped me out of the car, it wen’t scattering with the wind. They pinned me on the ground and as I looked under the car I saw my wife getting smeared on the pavement on the other side of the car. I guess I went limp a lot faster, knowing there was no reason to resist at this point. She ended up a little scratched up.
They separated us immediately and began asking questions and trying to see if we could ruin someone elses life with a little tip, to make our case that much easier. I hoped my wife wasn’t freaked out enough to forget the day, years ago, I sat her down and told her “so you know what I do isn’t exactly safe, so these are our rights. If it ever comes down to it, stand on them. Don’t back down for anything.” I took my own advice and said I need a lawyer and refused to speak another word.
During the ride to the police station the cops were trying to get me to talk. Most of their questions implied they had no clue what DMT was, which was confirmed in 80 page discovery I had to read later on. Still, I kept my mouth shut. Once I was in booking they sat me down next to my wife, at which point they said I was obviously under arrest (even though they still hadn’t read me or my wife our rights, apparently that’s not required anymore). Still, big mistake on their part. I quietly asked her if she had said anything, and she said she hadn’t, but they were probably going to let her go. They weren’t sure if they had enough to press charges on her and would figure that out later. What they were really after was more time to work getting consent to search our house out of her. I figured as much and told her to make them get a warrant. They will, but don’t consent whatever you do, and don’t say anything that will make them feel you have any knowledge of anything besides what happened at the scene.
My wife and I (we were actually just long term partners at that point), had been together for a long time. We were comfortable and relatively happy, but the honeymoon stage ended years ago, and I would have a hard time saying we were in love at the time. Or at least I wasn’t. At that moment I became the proudest partner alive. She was of course pissed at me for getting us into this situation, but she was more pissed at the cops, and the rat. She knows the difference between morals and laws, and saw the bullshit taking place was just that. Complete bullshit. I could see it in her eyes, and she would have said as much if the cops hadn’t separated us when they realized I was coaching her. At that moment I realized we would be together forever. Not because she was standing at my side no matter the cost, but because she truly understood and was willing to pay the price. Before then, it was all theory. Now it’s real. You see what a person is made of when everything is in the balance. I don’t think I could ever trust another human to handle the situation as well as she did. I’m sure they are out there. But I’d never be willing to take the risk with someone else.
They let her go, and I went the rest of the way through booking with a smile on my face, even though I knew shit was about to get a lot worse.
Of course they got the warrant. They ripped our house up good enough they buried a lot of the evidence they were looking for. It didn’t matter though. They found more than enough. I had an entire room setup for my grow. 20 monotubs, half of which were actually fruiting at the time. 6 pounds of dry mushrooms. A bunch of RC’s in large enough quantities to be a problem (luckily, many of them had been cooked into chocolate, which they figured were just more mushroom chocolates, so they weren’t able to pin some rediculous weight on me). They called in the hazmat team when they felt uncomfortable about going into the room, heated by a space heater. It was January in the rockies so apparently a room sitting at 78f seemed rather dangerous. They took about 2k worth of misc glassware (most of which hadn’t been used yet), all my bark, but couldn’t find any DMT. I had just sold every last bit I had, except for a pipe that was loaded on my coffee table, which they somehow missed. They didn’t touch my laptop or my book collection, both of which would have led to bigger problems. They didn’t touch the display case with all our smoking apparatus, which had a vial of L sitting in plain sight. They took my revolver but left my rifle, and they didn’t touch anything in my back yard. The warrant said within the home, so they weren’t allowed to go back there. I had a large storage pile under a tarp, with less used grow supplies and glassware. Don’t think it would have made things any worse, but every little thing they missed made me feel that much better.
I had a 10k bond placed on me but my family decided they wanted to wait for a bond hearing to see if it would come down, which is apparently a normal thing. A few days before, my list of charges went from 2 counts, to 11. At the hearing my bond was raised to 50k, and my public pretender told me “this is bad, if you get stuck with all of this your looking to do at least 60 years”.
Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to show weakness when your locked up. But this kinda news destroys you. I broke down. I had made a few ‘friends’, most people in my unit were doing 60ish day sentences. A few were fighting cases that might end with time at the joint. No one had any personal experience of facing such a serious sentence though. I tried to cry it out in private, but there is no privacy. Eventually some wannabe tough guy wants to step in and tell you “you aint got it rough man, shut the fuck up”, and snatches my paperwork off the table. The change in his face when he took a glance at what I was facing just hurt all the more. He felt bad for me. Some poor excuse of a robber feeling bad for you doesn’t help. I’ll tell you that much. Anyway. Even if they didn’t understand, they knew what I was dealing with, and let me mope. Eventually one of the smarter guys I’d become friends with managed to help me see no matter what, it’s not as bad as it seems. “If there is life, there is hope”, he said.
Meanwhile, my family decided to loan me the cash I needed for a bondsman. My mom probably wanted to see me stew in my shit for a while longer, but pressure from my wife, and my stepdad, who had done 8 years himself, managed to get the ball rolling. I was offered whatever amount I needed to get the right lawyer as well, which was a chore on it’s own. No one knows what DMT is. Or at least they didn’t 3 years ago. I probably called close to 100 attourneys before I found someone willing to defend me. No one was comfortable going into a case they didn’t know anything about. I found a couple others, but their terms were shady and I felt better spending more up front, at a flat rate, than getting nickled and dimed to death, and having to constantly ask my mom for more money. I’d be paying it back, but still, she’s not the easiest to deal with on these matters and I didn’t want to get left out to dry half way through the case. I ended up spending 17k.
Soon as I lawyered up, they decided to come arrest my wife. No I had to involve her family to get her bond, which was the same as mine, and we decided to go with a referral from my attourney to get hers, which cost the same. So before we’ve even entered a courtroom, were 44k in the hole.
If you go back the 10 or so years I’ve been doing this, I might have made that much. It’s doubtful. If I saved every dollar I made I could have covered my own expenses, but few of us bother to take those precautions, and obviously I wasn’t one of them.
Anyway, we started the plea bargaining process. My most serious charges were two counts of manufacture (for mushrooms and DMT), distribution of DMT, and possession of a firearm by a previous offender. (I had a property crime felony I did probation for when I was 18). The gun charge was a special offender charge that carried a mandatory 10 years. The manufacture and distro charges were 4-16 each, and then there was a bunch of other little shit. My wife was facing all the same charges except the gun.
We had to fight for 7 months before we could get the gun charge reduced to something managable. In the meantime most of the smaller charges disappeared as well. As it came time to take a deal or take it to court (I’m not an idiot), I pretty much had to accept I was going to more than a bit of jail time. At this point I only made one demand. My wife does no time. She knows shes getting a record, but were not both going to prison for my actions. Eventually the DA accepted this, and I took a plea for Manufacture and Distro and a lesser gun charge. Still, It was an open 4-16 x2 plus one for the gun.
Going into sentencing my lawyer said sorry that was the best she could do, and prepared me for 8-10 years. My wife said whatever happened she’d be there, but you know how that can go. I was praying for the smallest amount possible, not because I wanted to be free asap, but because I wanted the highest chance she wouldn’t have moved on with her life.
Although I had agreed to a plea, at sentencing the DA was up in arms about how big of a piece of shit I was, comparing me to meth/crack dealers. He tried as hard as he could to demonize DMT, figuring it must be pretty bad stuff, when the judge shut him down with one question. “What is DMT?” “uh, uh,” flips through his papework “ummm…. Well he was also growing mushrooms!”. He then went on to say I had shown no remorse for my actions (as I had never bothered doing so. I was, and still am proud of what I’ve done, getting caught doesn’t change that, but I hadn’t really pushed my feelings on the subject either) The judge actually rolled her eyes and invited me up to the podium. “What is DMT?”. “It’s a very short lasting but very potent tryptamine. You don’t know about it because very few people are attracted to it’s intense nature. Most people are unable to interact with the real world under the influence. You remain sitting and nothing special appears to happen from the perpective of a bystander.” “So why is this a problem, why are we here today?” “Because someone I dealt with knew it was listed as a schedule I substance and decided that pointing that out to the police was the best was to dig himself out of his own hole”. “Do you feel what you’ve done is wrong?” “I don’t, but I would never do it again. The cost is too high. This has damaged my family to such a degree it was not worth it. If I could go back and not take this path, I would, but not because I feel it’s wrong. Because they didn’t deserve to go through this with me”.
She was on the same page. She smiled and went on “Although the DA would like to see you receive the maximum sentence for these charges, I believe this was a wake up call for you. I hope I’m right and you’ve learned from your mistakes. Unfortunately, your charges carry a mandatory minimum of 4 years, which is what I’m going to give you. I hope you see this as an opportunity rather than a punishment”.
Soon as I was through the door into booking, another guy who had just been sentenced to a similar amount of time, and had done time before, could tell it was my first time. He assured me I’d be back on the streets in a year. Your good time brings you down to half your sentence (unless you’re a complete fuckup), and your eligible for a halfway house 18 months before that). So I managed to keep my head up through what looked rather bleak.
I spent a couple weeks in county before being picked up by DOC and getting moved into a shuttle facility. Getting tested for disease, IQ, skills, etc. Once I got there, I discovered I was not allowed to communicate with my co-defendant (my wife, and we were actually married by this point). No calls, no letters. Nothing. We had sent a few letters before I was made aware of this, and they made it through. Knowing how short my stint could be, we decided to follow the rules and find another method of communicating, but our initial contact still caught up to us and I was threatened with losing my haflway house eligibility. I had to kiss my case managers ass to get him to overlook it.
There is still plenty more to my story but I’m going to take a break. So far, the moral is: know the risks before you play the game. If you don’t have an understanding family who is willing to help you, and you make more than one mistake, you could very well spend most of the rest of your life in prison for something as simple as trying to provide a shortcut to temporary enlightenment (which was always my primary goal, the money was just a nice byproduct). Also evaluate your relationships and ask yourself what are you willing to lose. I didn’t, and I simply got lucky I didn’t have to experience that. But I’ve met hundreds who weren’t so lucky. Although there is still risk in growing no matter what, it is virtually eliminated if no one knows and you aren’t trying to turn it into something bigger than what you personally need. Even a personal grow will get most of your friends high for a summer. My advice is stay small. If others want it bad enough they’ll learn to grow on their own, or find someone else willing to take the risk. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone (unless, like me, they needed such an experience). As much as it sucks, I am glad this happened. It turned a half assed relationship into a rock solid marriage. It helped me develop compassion for the last people on earth I could have imagined (including the guy who pointed the finger at me), and it tested me in many ways that I needed, which I’ll get to in a follow up post, hopefully within days rather than months.
Until then, sorry if this feels rushed. I wrote this whole thing up a week ago and lost it all. It’s obviously long so I’ve lost steam and just don’t know how long it’d be til I got the motivation to wrap it up if I didn’t get it posted.
I miss all of you and hope this helps at least one person think it through enough to play safe and avoid the price I’ve paid. I'll answer any questions I can, so feel free to ask.