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We Asked Drug Dealers About the Times They Almost Got Caught

"The moment you ask if it's really worth it is somewhere after getting away and realizing what could have happened."
Photos by author.

Every broke person who's bought drugs at one point or another has briefly considered selling them. What's not to love about the job? It's easy to get into, requires no credentials, gives you a fleeting sense of "cool" among (some) friends, and can allow you to make lots of money very quickly. It is the dick-growth pill of the job world—the one (and perhaps only) get-rich-quick scheme that will remain valid for as long as drugs stay criminalized.


It is, of course, very illegal, and depending on what you're selling (or where you live), the fines and charges that come along with trafficking drugs can range from a slap on the wrist to life in prison. For anybody who takes on the duty of dealing, this is a risk and responsibility one must stomach. After all, as most dealers have told me—not every dealer gets caught, but most (if not every dealer) has at least one close call. To get a better look at what that's like, we spoke to three dealers who had razor-sharp grazes with NARCs, security, and police.

Sold cocaine, sells "just a little weed now."

The first time I sold coke was because I tried to quit using it when I was 18. I had been abusing it at parties for about a year before that, but there was a few weeks after my 18th birthday that I started to do bumps before work and in the morning. I would skip coffee sometimes.

I was a smart—that sounds pretentious—I felt like a smart kid, and I knew that what was happening was that I was becoming addicted, y'know, so I just thought, "Okay, I should become more business-minded about this." I had an eight-ball sitting in my dresser, and I just started texting friends that Friday. "You want some?" You know? Or like, "I got snow. Hit me up."

That ended up snowballing for, excuse the pun, a bit, and then I started getting a bigger dealer to spot me two ounces for a week turn around. I got a few friends to start selling—and then I stopped because they were being stupid with it. Really careless. I kept moving that amount but more independently and I used a burner, only had one other guy distributing and he didn't know who I was. Just had my number and made pickups.


Funny enough, I did this while in school and it was all going well, but I was still using my own stuff. Not like crazy or during the daytime, but I liked using it to work and get myself organized. I got a little too carried away once and did a line behind a stack of books I had at my school library. Real quick, I tried to keep it quiet, but it was crazy because about ten minutes later, I noticed five or six security guards come out of the elevator and right at me. They pointed at me and I think I swallowed my soul. I ended up running into the handicapped bathroom and flushed the [eight grams] I had down the toilet. I faked a mental breakdown so they wouldn't bother asking me further what I was doing.

After that, I got really spooked. It became hard for me to keep selling, and I was halfway through school at the point. [I had] Enough money to float for six, seven months and be golden, so I just stopped. I'm selling just a little weed now.

Welland, OntARIO
Sells MDMA

My main customers used to be at clubs in Toronto, like, a decade ago when I first was a little baby just getting into this. Things changed when festivals came along and everyone hopped on the Skrillex-Deadmau5-Avicii dick ride craze. Now everyone loves EDM, and there was that huge "molly" phase because of it. That's when I really excelled, but it didn't last long.

It was the summer of 2013 and I was trying to hit up all the major festivals to make sales, but you gotta counterbalance the cost of what you'll make off sneaking in minimal amounts to the price of the ticket/the amenities you'll need to keep going on 12-hour, hot-ass days. I worked it out to something like $300 bucks a festival if I was being conservative as an [operational] cost, so I had to bring in a good amount of moll if I wanted to leave happy.


I did Luminato and Digital Dreams no issue, made about $1,900 [of profit] between the two of them, which really isn't anything to bitch about for a few days of fun-filled work. I expected VELD was gonna be the big one, so I bought these stupid looking Timberlands and made a compartment in the sole for an ounce-and-a-half. It was really low key—I'm still proud of myself for being able to do that.

When I showed up to the gates, I realized how fucking dumb I looked, though. I'm in jeans, a T-shirt, and Timberlands. I also brought nobody with me, and I had nothing but a wallet and water bottle to my name. Everyone's in neon-green-and-purple stringers, cheap sunglasses, runners. I look like a fuckboy at the club. As soon as I get to security, they pat me down and then ask me to take off the boots. Like, I guess because I didn't have nothing [sic] else on me they thought, "This guy's up to something."

They ended up looking inside my boots, knocked around, and then they passed them back, but they didn't let me in. Instead, he asked me to wait near another door and a manager would come see me. That's when I knew I fucked up. Got about 50 meters from the gates and just began to slowly jog, eventually sprint away to my car. I must've left that place going 130 [kilometers per hour] on a regular road. Fuck, man, I still feel like an idiot, but it was exhilarating.

Ajax, OntARIO
Sold pills "of different kinds," cocaine. Once sold DMT.

When I first started selling anything, it was when my little brother asked for some of my Ritalin and I told him he could have the bottle. He was like, "You realize how much this stuff is worth, right?" He kind of fucked himself on that one [laughs], because I ended up charging him for it, but he opened my eyes to selling pills I was already getting but not using to my own advantage.

Selling [prescription pills] is not ideal because, like, it's your own supply and you can only get them from a doctor, but also because the people who buy them are all over the place. Students only want them for special projects or for when they're trying to really clear through a bunch of work, and there's only a rare few who are seriously addicted but don't have the nuts and bolts ready to go to a doctor about it. Those were unfortunately my most reliable for selling pills to—Vyvanse, Adderall, or whatever, they would take them for anywhere from $10-20 a piece (depending on the dosage), and would buy all of it.

One kid really, really wanted them more often than I could supply though, and we ran into each other on his campus one time. He confronted me because I hadn't been replying to his texts (author's note: Express says he was out of pills and had anxiety about admitting that), and I tried to just diffuse the situation because he kept yelling. A cop was nearby and ended up coming over, and I literally shit. The officer asked what was wrong, and this kid, the fucking audacity, says, "He's a fucking drug dealer."

The cop just looked at me very seriously, but he had no reason to search me (author's note: Express says that he had three grams of coke on him at the time), so he just kind of started asking probing questions and making notes. He ended up taking my full name, address, all that, and then left. After that, I kind of just stopped doing it. It was pretty good money but, fuck, that shit was way too much for me. I looked up online what the consequences were for possession of even a few grams of blow, and wow, it scared me. The moment you ask if it's really worth it is somewhere after getting away and realizing what could have happened. That was it for me.

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