Feel My Pain

A reporter goes after the online drug business and gets wasted

The agent said he thought my heart was in the right place, but I had crossed the line. That's when I told him that that was one point of my story, just like it was the point of a brilliant weeklong series the Hartford Courant ran in 2005. That series talked a lot about teens getting steroids online. I had spoken with one of those writers, just as I had spoken with a reporter in Kentucky who bought Lortab for a story -- Lortab he opened up in the presence of a sheriff's captain. Kentucky, by the way, is one of three states that have implemented strong enough pharmacy laws that most online services won't ship to them. The other two are Nevada and Tennessee. (That's right, folks, another shock of a lifetime: Texas isn't one of those states.)

I told the Houston agent that we wanted to have the drugs tested to see if they were the real thing. He said it's best that he send an agent to take them off my hands, lest they loose themselves in the community. He said he was sending an agent or two to the office to pick them up.

The U.S. Department of Justice has a policy that deals with accusations of criminal misconduct against the media. This policy generally requires personal approval from the U.S. Attorney General before a member of the media can be charged, arrested, indicted or prosecuted. It reads in part: "This policy statement is thus intended to provide protection for the news media from forms of compulsory process, whether civil or criminal, which might impair the news-gathering function."

Steroids are among the cheapest and most available drugs online.
Steroids are among the cheapest and most available drugs online.

Not wanting to be impaired, I immediately called my editor, who immediately called the lawyer, and shortly after that is when the confluence occurred: the perfect storm. The twin attacks of the DEA and my reckless e-mail were working their ways up the company ladder.

Thus, while I was having my ass handed to me in my editor's office, I got a visit from two DEA agents who wanted my drugs, including the Xanax whenever it arrives. Since the DEA likes giving their investigations cool James Bond names like Operation Gear Grinder (for real), I figured they could come up with something for me like Operation Dumbass.

But at least the DEA has my bottle of Vicodin and my tube of steroids. So, you know, Houston's much safer now.

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steroids are cheap and available because most of the guys who sell them genuinely believe they are helping people to better themselves.

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