Agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration have raided the home of a suspected drug manufacturer after monitoring purchases of chemicals and equipment on eBay.
The suspects are accused of trying to manufacture ecstasy, a complex chemical process that requires easily identifiable laboratory equipment and chemicals. A series of purchases were logged to an eBay user between July 2005 and April 2006, starting with laboratory and security equipment and “precursor chemicals” .
Investigators got the address of the buyer from his eBay site and checked the records with the phone company before sending two trial packages to see who picked them up.
In both cases members of the same family signed for the alias, who was described as an “uncle from Costa Rica”.
The suspect eBay account was opened in July 2005 and the buyer has a perfect feedback rating; sellers describe ‘dinero9760’ as an “awesome customer” and ” always a pleasure”.
Many governments have watch-lists of the equipment needed to process certain chemicals. This includes drug agencies and police investigating terrorism and organised crime.