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Clandestine chemistry is chemistry carried out in secret, and particularly in illegal drug laboratories.
Larger labs are usually run by gangs or organized crime intending to produce for distribution on the black market. Smaller labs can be run by individual chemists working clandestinely in order to synthesize smaller amounts of controlled substances or simply out of a hobbyist interest in chemistry, often because of the difficulty in ascertaining the purity of other, illegally synthesized drugs obtained on the black market.
The term clandestine lab is generally hcemist in any situation involving the production of illicit compounds, regardless of whether the facilities being used qualify as a true laboratory.
Ancient forms of clandestine chemistry included the manufacturing of explosives. Another old form of clandestine chemistry is the illegal brewing and distillation of nktebook. This is frequently done to avoid taxation on spirits. From tothe United States prohibited the sale, manufacture, or transportation of alcoholic beverages. This opened a door for brewers to supply their own town with alcohol. Just like modern-day drug labs, distilleries were placed in rural areas.
The term moonshine generally referred to “corn whiskey”, that is, a whiskey -like liquor made from corn. Today, American-made corn whiskey can be labeled or sold under that nameor as Bourbon or Tennessee whiskeydepending on the details of the production process.
Prepared substances as opposed to those that occur clandedtine in clansestine consumable form, such as cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms require reagents. Clanvestine drugs, like cocaine and morphine, are extracted from plant sources and refined with the aid of chemicals. Semi-synthetic drugs such as heroin are made starting from alkaloids extracted from plant sources which are the precursors for further synthesis.
In the case of heroin, a mixture clamdestine alkaloids is extracted from the opium poppy Papaver somniferum by incising its seed capsule, clanrestine a milky fluid the opium ‘latex’ bleeds out of the incisions which is then left to dry out and scraped off the bulbs, yielding raw opium. Morphine, one of many alkaloids in opium, is then extracted out of the opium by acid-base extraction and turned into heroin by reacting it with acetic anhydride.
Other drugs such as methamphetamine and MDMA are normally made from commercially available chemicals, though both can also be made from naturally occurring precursors. Methamphetamine can also be made from ephedrineone of the naturally occurring alkaloids in ephedra Ephedra sinica. MDMA can be made from safrolethe major constituent of several etheric oils like sassafras.
Governments have clandfstine a strategy of chemical control as part of their overall drug control and enforcement plans.
Chemical control offers a means of attacking illicit drug production and disrupting the process before the drugs have entered the market. Because many legitimate industrial chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia and iodine are also necessary in the processing and synthesis of most illicitly produced drugs, preventing the diversion of these chemicals from legitimate commerce to illicit drug manufacturing is a difficult job. Governments often chhemist restrictions on the purchase of large quantities of chemicals that can be used in the production of illicit drugs, usually requiring licenses or permits to ensure that the purchaser has a legitimate need for them.
Chemicals critical to the production of cocaine, heroin, and synthetic drugs are produced in many countries throughout the world. Noteboko manufacturers and suppliers exist in Europe, China, India, the United States, and a host of other countries. Historically, chemicals critical to the synthesis or manufacture of illicit drugs are introduced into various venues via legitimate purchases by companies that are registered and licensed to do business as chemical importers or handlers.
In response to stricter international controls, drug traffickers have increasingly been forced to divert chemicals by mislabeling the containers, forging documents, establishing front companies, using circuitous routing, hijacking shipments, bribing officials, or smuggling products across international borders.
The Multilateral Chemical Reporting Initiative encourages governments to exchange information on a voluntary basis in order to monitor international chemical shipments. To facilitate the international flow of information about precursor chemicals, the United States, through its relationship with the Inter-American Drug Control Abuse Commission CICADcontinues to evaluate the use of precursor chemicals and assist countries in strengthening controls. The problem is complicated by the fact that many chemical shipments are either brokered or transshipped through third countries in an attempt to disguise their purpose or destination.
The Regulation also establishes uniform procedures for licensing and registration of operators and users who are listed in a European database tracking drug precursors.
Despite this long history of law enforcement actions, restrictions of chemicals, and even covert military actions, many illicit drugs are still widely available all over the world. Operation Purple is a U. Critical to the success of this operation is chemust communication network that gives notification of shipments and provides the government of the importer sufficient time to verify the legitimacy of the transaction and take appropriate action.
The effects of this initiative have been dramatic and far-reaching. Operation Purple has exposed a significant vulnerability among traffickers, clajdestine has grown to include almost thirty nations.
According to the DEA, Operation Purple has been highly effective at interfering with cocaine production. However, illicit chemists always nogebook new methods to evade the DEA’s scrutiny. In countries where strict chemical controls have been put in notwbook, illicit drug production hotebook been seriously affected. For example, few of the chemicals needed to process coca leaf into cocaine are manufactured in Bolivia or Peru.
Most are smuggled in from neighbouring countries with advanced chemical industries or diverted from a smaller number of licit handlers. Increased interdiction of chemicals in Peru and Bolivia has contributed to final product cocaine from those countries being of lower, minimally oxidized quality. As a result, Bolivian lab operators are now using inferior substitutes such as cement instead of lime and sodium bicarbonate instead of ammonia and recycled solvents like ether. Some non-solvent fuels such as gasolinekerosene and diesel fuel are even used in place of solvents.
Chemisg are attempting to streamline a production process that virtually eliminates oxidation to produce cocaine base. Some laboratories are not using sulfuric acid during the maceration state; consequently, less cocaine alkaloid is extracted from the leaf, producing less cocaine hydrochloride, the powdered cocaine marketed for overseas consumption.
Similarly, heroin-producing countries depend on supplies of acetic anhydride AA from the international market.
This heroin precursor continues to account for the largest volume of internationally seized chemicals, according to the International Narcotics Control Board. Since Julythere have been several notable seizures of acetic anhydride in Turkey amounting to nearly seventeen metric tons and Turkmenistan totaling seventy-three metric tons.
Acetic anhydride, the most commonly used chemical agent in heroin processing, is virtually irreplaceable. According to the DEA, Mexico remains the only heroin source route to clandedtine laboratories in Afghanistan.
Authorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan routinely seize ton-quantity shipments of diverted acetic anhydride.
The lack of acetic anhydride has caused clandestine chemists in some countries to substitute it for lower quality precursors such as acetic acid and results in the formation of impure black tar heroin that contains a mixture of drugs not found in heroin made with pure chemicals.
DEA’s Operation Topaz is a coordinated international strategy targeting acetic anhydride. In place since Marcha total of thirty-one countries are clandwstine organized participants in jotebook program in addition to regional participants.
The DEA reports that as of Junesome consignments of acetic anhydride had been tracked totaling , kilograms. As of Julythere has been approximately 20 shipments of AA totalingkilograms either stopped or seized.
The practice of clandestine chemistry to synthesize controlled substance analogues and circumvent drug laws was first noticed in the late s, as types of drugs became controlled substances in many countries. As of the early s, methamphetamine use was concentrated among young white males in California and nearby states.
Since then its use has spread both demographically and geographically. In the s and early s, most methamphetamine production in the United States occurred in small independent laboratories. The clanfestine predominant methods which vlandestine both involve the reduction of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine. In the s, the DEA recognized that legally imported clandeztine were being diverted to the production of methamphetamine.
Changes to federal regulations in and throughout the s enabled the DEA to more closely track the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine precursors. In Maythe DEA shut down two major suppliers of precursors in the United States, seizing 25 metric tons of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine from Clifton Pharmaceuticals and cases of pseudoephedrine from X-Pressive Chemis, Inc.
Clandestine chemistry – Wikipedia
The immediate market impact suggests that they had been providing more than 50 percent of the precursors used nationally to produce methamphetamine. However, the market rapidly rebounded.
The methamphetamine situation also changed in the mids as Mexican organized crime became a major player in its production and distribution, operating “super-labs” which produced a substantial percentage of the drugs being sold. Although the prevalence of domestic meth labs continues to be high in western states, they have spread throughout the United States.
The chemicals involved can explode and clandestine chemistry has been implicated in both house and wild land fires. Factors affecting policing and reporting include funding, specialized training, support from local residents, willingness to make the issue a priority in policing. How information is categorized and tracked may also inflate or minimize the apparent results.
Missouriwhich has tended to report some of the highest numbers of meth-lab arrests in the country, has pursued an aggressive and highly publicized policing policy, resulting in as many as cases a year in one county. Cleanup of toxic and hazardous materials at a single site may cost tens of thousands of dollars.
This is a disincentive for agencies with limited budgets. Many of the cases reported involved meth users who were making small amounts of the drug in a simple “one-pot method” for both personal use and sale to others.
DEA El Paso Intelligence Center data is showing a downward trend in the number of clandestine drug labs seized for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine down from a high of 15, in Clean up processes were regulated by the EPA as of This creates guidelines for States and local agencies to improve “our national understanding of identifying the point at which former methamphetamine laboratories become clean enough to inhabit again.
This is the process in which law enforcement or a Drug Enforcement Administration contractors removes the obvious dangers from the site. Obvious dangers include containers of chemicals, equipment, and apparatus that could be used to make illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and other illegal items.
This process does not cleanup or remove chemical spills, stains or residue that could be harmful to inhabitants. A property that has had only a gross chemical removal is not fit for habitation. The cleaning of interior structures and, if applicable, the surrounding land, surface waters and groundwater by an EPA approved or National Crime Scene Clean Up Association certified company.
This is the process of removing the residue and waste from the site after the gross chemical removal is done. A property that has been re-mediated should present minimal to no health risk to occupants. Clandestine chemistry chemisf not limited to drugs ; it is also associated with explosivesand other illegal chemicals.
Of the explosives manufactured clandesine, nitroglycerin and acetone peroxide are easiest to produce due to the ease with which the precursors can be acquired. Clanxestine Fester is a writer clandesfine commonly writes about different aspects of clandestine chemistry. Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture is among one of his most popular books, and is considered required reading for DEA Agents.
More of his books deal with other aspects of clandestine chemistry, including explosives, and poisons. Fester is, however, considered by many to be a faulty and unreliable source for information in regard to the clandestine manufacture of chemicals.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Precursors and chemicals notebooi used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: