NCIS warns sailors to stop buying LSD on the dark web

Julia LeDoux
June 29, 2020 - 3:42 pm

Naval Criminal Investigative Service

There’s been an uptick in drug investigations involving Navy personnel buying, using and purchasing LSD over the past year.

Many of those investigations involve illicit purchases made on the dark web, according to a release from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

“Recent law enforcement reporting has revealed that an increasing number of people are moving to purchasing illicit substances via the dark web because of the perceived anonymity provided by tools like The Onion Router (TOR),” the release reads.

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Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are used to pay for the purchases, according to NCIS. 

“While TOR offers anonymity by obscuring IP addresses, law enforcement use various investigative techniques to identify both purchasers and sellers,” the release continues. “Additionally, many cryptocurrency transactions are traceable.”

From 2003 to 2006, Department of Defense forensic drug laboratories detected only four instances of positive urinalysis for LSD out of over two million samples. As a result, the Navy discontinued testing for LSD in late 2006 by directive of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics.

NCIS warns Navy personnel to be cognizant of other risks involved with dark web purchases of LSD or other illicit substances:

  • Drugs purchased via the dark web are often laced with other substances in dangerous combinations that can lead to death.
  • Additionally, international, federal, state and local law enforcement are working collectively, using a variety of techniques to infiltrate marketplaces, identify users and combat the illicit drug threat. NCIS, in conjunction with law enforcement partners, continues to use investigative tools — including source networks and tipsters — to identify and prosecute DON personnel attempting to buy LSD or other illicit substances on the dark web.

Anyone with information relating to Navy personnel buying or selling LSD or illicit substances either on or off the dark web should report it to NCIS using the NCIS Tips app or here. Tips may be reported anonymously. NCIS may provide a reward for information that leads to a felony conviction.

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