The One-Man Drug Company

I’m not sure what it is with stories about drugs and drug-dealers. I have a dark fascination with the trade, the business of it, the illicitness of it all. I’m positive I would never be cut out for that world, but I enjoy getting glimpses of it from afar.

The One-Man Drug Company is a compelling article by David Amsden, focusing on drug dealer Lenny Starke. With $30,000 in a safe bolted to his apartment floor and another $25,000 in a safe location, Lenny is not your average 25 year old.

With his start in pot, Lenny gradually expanded to Ecstasy, LSD and finally cocaine. For a while, a friend was receiving letters from a girl in South America (each letter contained an ounce of cocaine, spread paper thin). When the letters weren’t keeping up with demand, Lenny began finding his own contacts.

Once it reaches New York, the supply is controlled mainly by the Mafia and Latino street gangs. Lenny has contacts in both worlds. That way, he can play the two against each other, keeping the price low and quality high. Whenever one supplier jacks up the price, Lenny takes his business elsewhere until the price comes down.

In reading over Lenny’s lifestyle, he’s gone through some ups and downs, and comes off as mostly cautious. What’s more fascinating than the particulars of his day-to-day are his future aspirations. To get out of “the game,” Lenny plans on selling off his client list (which he keeps, as an Excel file full of nicknames). His goal: sell the client list for a large sum and exit, stage left.

// Edit: Turns out this is from 2006. Who knew? When I was reading over it, it didn’t come across as 5+ years old.

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