Operation Web Tryp was a United States Drug Enforcement Administration operation that ended on July 21, 2004 with the arrests of 10 persons. Its purpose was to investigate web sites suspected of distribution of unscheduled, unregulated tryptamines and phenethylamines of questionable legality. This trade in "grey market" drugs, which were not explicitly illegal but potentially prosecutable as drug analogs, became known as the "research chemical" trade; a euphemism for the fact that the chemicals were being sold for industrial or academic research rather than human consumption.
Five websites were involved in Operation Web Tryp:
- www.racresearch.com (RAC Research), including the arrest of April Curtis.
- www.americanchemicalsupply.com, including the arrest of Mike Burton.
One of these websites, pondman.nu, was allegedly taking in U.S. $20,000 per week and grossed $700,000 before being shut down. Another, racresearch.com, reportedly grossed $500,000 in 14 months.
The DEA claims that AMT sold by pondman.nu caused the April 2002 death of an 18-year-old man in upstate New York, and that 2C-T-7 and 2C-T-21 sold by americanchemicalsupply.com caused the death of a 22-year-old Louisiana man. Fourteen other non-fatal overdose incidents requiring hospitalization were also cited by the DEA.
In December 2004, using credit card information provided by the DEA, British police arrested and charged over 20 UK residents who had purchased substances through the seized web sites (Operation Ismene). A few people managed to get non custodial sentences though one person is known to have spent 3 years in UK prison. Many people ordered drugs in the UK from these websites, with the FBI passing on the details to British authorities.
In 2009 the UK has become the capital of Europe in producing and sourcing "Legal highs" according to the European Drugs Commission. These are generally cleverly modified compounds taken from natural alkaloids, however due to the nature of the government openly banning Shulgin's work, no-one is releasing any form of synthesis or toxicology data in the forms of white papers- knowing it is a fast track route for prosecution.
Read more about Operation Web Tryp: Legality
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