back to article Tip for darknet drug lords: Don't wear latex gloves to the post office

Delivery is the weakest link in the “dark web” drug trade: the postal habits of a large-scale trader have led to his undoing. Chukwuemeka Okparaeke is accused of dealing in very nasty stuff: Fentanyl, a high-strength synthetic opioid the Centre for Disease Control says is 50 times the potency of heroin and was responsible for …

  1. JonW


    Well, the Tech might improve, but it seems your average criminal is still decidedly average.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Progress

      There's a sampling bias here: The less-competent the criminal, the greater the chance of getting caught. You hear about this one because he made a stupid mistake, but you don't hear about his rival drug dealer who uses full-device encryption and does not wear latex gloves to the post office.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would he wear latex gloves?

    That's the sort of thing that's going to attract attention because it isn't something one normally does. In the winter it would be easy to wear winter gloves. The summer would be more of a problem, but assuming he's worried about fingerprints just coating his fingertips with superglue would quite effectively obscure his prints in a way a passerby wouldn't notice.

    1. Sampler

      for the summer

      Leather driving gloves, people wouldn't suspect he was a drug dealer, just a wanker...

      1. Asylum_visitor

        Re: for the summer

        Lamb skin string backs for the ultimate disguise.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: for the summer

        You wear leather driving gloves when you have a wank??!!???

        1. Michael Thibault

          Re: for the summer

          "You wear leather driving gloves when you have a wank??!!???"

          He-men like to think they really have skin in the game, perhaps?

    2. sandwich

      Re: Why would he wear latex gloves?

      Wearing latex was to stop the genius absorbing potentially fatal amounts of his product. A lack of prints is just a happy side effect.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Why would he wear latex gloves?

        Depends on the substance. Latex gloves are totally useless, for example, against dimethylmercury.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why would he wear latex gloves?

          Of course it depends on the substance. Latex gloves are totally useless, for example, against latex allergies and falling safes. But then everyone knows to use nitrile gloves in that case. Just to be clear, that's for the allergy, not the safe.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why would he wear latex gloves?

        Why would he need gloves to carry the packages to the post office? If he can absorb lethal amounts from the packaging, I'd worry for the life of the mail handlers who touch it along the way to its destination!

        Surely if he's careful, he can keep the residue on the outside almost non-existent. If he takes that one and packs it into another box, and then another, he can reduce the residue to an arbitrarily small amount.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would he wear latex gloves?

      A lab coat would have solved the problem.

    4. Chris King

      Re: Why would he wear latex gloves?

      I thought "fingerprints" too, but wondered if he could have been OCD ?

      I knew a student who wore thick rubber gloves all the time, because he considered the PC lab keyboards, library books and so on to be "unclean".

      (Looking at the proxy logs for the labs, he may have had a point, dirty little devils - mind you, the staff were FAR worse in that gig !)

      I'm not talking about ordinary Marigolds here either, these were like extra-thick gauntlets and looked like the sort of thing you'd wear for handling really nasty chemicals - so you can imagine what that did for his typing speed.

      Eventually, he sought treatment, and it was heartening to see him switch to lighter surgical gloves, then cotton ones, and eventually stop wearing them altogether.

    5. stefangrim

      Re: Why would he wear latex gloves?

      Yes, latex gloves are extremely hard to use for risky actions such as drug delivery.

  3. Andy00ff00

    More to the point

    Well done to the post office clerk, for spotting it and having the nouse to report it.

    We need people of this intelligence level in more walks of life.

  4. Danny van der Weide

    Another tip

    Having a dedicated fully encrypted system, (or just a TAILS thumb drive) used exclusively for your darknet activity is really elementary for your own and your clients' security and privacy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Latex Gloves

    Id have spotted those a mile off, they wouldnt have fit in with the Hamburglar costume he was probably also wearing.

  6. Pen-y-gors


    You need to show a driving licence to buy a stamp in the US? Please don't give May ideas...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: stamps?

      To be fair, the article does say he was bulk-buying priority delivery stamps. Presumably the Post Office has a verification policy on the payment for same, which is likely to be on the high side.

      1. Pen-y-gors

        Re: stamps?


        True. But surely they don't need proof of identity to pay with cash? A cheque possibly (likely given his general level of smarts) Or was he trying to pay with Bitcoins?

    2. The Nazz

      Re: stamps?

      Could be worse.

      Here in the UK a bulk buyer of physical stamps requires a mini-mortgage.

      Ah, isn't progress wonderful.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so a minor nitpick

    pretty sure everyone (edit to "most" as absolutes are never correct...waitaminnit...) taking this stuff knew what they were getting, and I suspect even went to extensive effort to obtain the stuff.

    Unless any of the '10000 deaths' were someone forced to try the stuff, then the drug is not responsible for those deaths. those who sought it out because of its potency, thru ignorance or arrogance and took it.

    the "responsibility" lies with the humans who misuse. How many users have gotten exactly what they wanted at the risk level they were comfortable with and side effects they accept? if 10K died, and the stuff is still popular, that'd mean a LOT more than 10K people partook in the same time period, no?

    1. SysKoll

      Re: so a minor nitpick

      Fine. The drug might not be totally responsible for these deaths. But can we at least agree that the author's keyboard is responsible for sloppy turns of phrase?

      Mr. Chirgwin, you need to have a word with that lazy Logitech 105-key.

      And now, if you don't mind, I am off to explain to my doctor that the free snacks in my office are responsible for my potbelly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so a minor nitpick

      I guess that the majority of the deaths happened because users didn't know what they were getting. I'm sure that while there are some very scrupulous, diligent and professional drug dealers who can usually be relied upon to deliver a quality product that matches the description, there are many more cowboys and thieves who simply don't give a shit. That's what you get when you criminalise a market.

      Then there's always the issue with cutting drugs to make more profit. If your average user is used to a product that's cut to shit and they happen to come across something that's unexpectedly pure (say something stolen from a dealer before he's had a chance to cut it), that's a sure-fire way to overdose (the so-called "hot-shot").

      Also, even doctors can prescribe a wrong dose. Your margin for error with fentalyn is much less, given how potent it is. Given that many dealers will be drug users themselves, it's easy to imagine that their judgement might be a bit impaired when it comes to handling fentalyn properly...

      Anyway, in summary, I'm all for safe supply chains and educated users being able to manage their addictions in a way that minimises risk/harm for everyone, but the black market doesn't supply that.

    3. goldcd

      *quick sums*

      Nearly a ninth as dangerous as guns

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so a minor nitpick

      >>Unless any of the '10000 deaths' were someone forced to try the stuff, then the drug is not responsible for those deaths

      Of course the drug killed them (unless you think it was say, jam?).

      You do know the meaning of the word "addiction" right?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two by two

    gloves of blue? Serenity fans mustve ratted him out!

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like