Dope (2017) s03e01 Episode Script

The Devil's Oldest Trick

1 They lie to you and say it's dope.
[woman.]
People think just cause it's brown it's heroin, but it's definitely Fentanyl.
[drum music playing.]
There could be some potential hazard for Fentanyl.
[siren blares.]
[man.]
If a bad batch goes out, then people are gonna keep ODing.
[in Spanish.]
Every 15 days, every 20 days we're making eight to ten kilos.
[in Spanish.]
If they don't know how to handle this product, it could be mortal.
If the client asks for Fentanyl, we give them Fentanyl.
[Diez.]
Yeah, well, if something happens to me, well, some other guy takes my place.
[siren blares.]
[siren blares.]
[Tim Binnall.]
So we've been dispatched to a report of a cardiac arrest.
Question of a heroin overdose.
We're about two minutes from it right now.
[narrator.]
In Boston's south end, paramedic Tom Binnall gets a call to a location he knows all too well.
Massachusetts Avenue, a notorious drug hot spot known locally as Methadone Mile.
[Tom Binnall.]
Time is of the essence.
So we'll kinda get there as quickly as we can.
Someone isn't breathing 4 to 6 minutes, death begins.
[narrator.]
Given the location, Binnall fears this could be an overdose.
Not of heroin, but of Fentanyl.
It just seems like the Fentanyl's getting worse and I don't know exactly why.
Fentanyl is a much stronger opioid than the heroin itself, It's much more potent.
When we give doses of Fentanyl, we give it in micrograms.
[narrator.]
Dealers have mixed heroin with Fentanyl for years to boost the high, but now it's turning up as a street drug in its own right.
- How you doin'? - Gave one dose right now.
Okay.
[Tom Binnall.]
You don't need to do compressions.
My friend, you're good, Hello! Take a breath.
Take a deep breath.
- How much Narcan did you give him? - [police officer.]
Just this one.
Just the one? Sit up for me.
Sit up! So what we're gonna do is we're gonna put you on the stretcher, we're gonna give you a little privacy, okay? Do you have any needles on you right now? [radio chatter.]
- I don't think so.
I don't know.
- Okay.
Twenty-eight-year old male, opioid overdose.
Gave him four milligrams of Narcan prior to arrival.
[narrator.]
Narcan has proved effective on heroin ODs, but combating Fentanyl is tougher.
It takes an increased amount of Narcan to reverse the effects of Fentanyl.
I don't believe a lot of them realize that they're buying Fentanyl.
I think it's just laced with the other street drugs.
And that's the problem with any of this, you don't know what you're taking, necessarily.
["Sin" playing.]
Eat from the fruit Cause you wanna know Listen to the serpent Let him have your soul Ask for the angels But they’ll never show Just take another drink Let the blood flow Oh Sin Why you gotta be my only friend Devil got me on my knees again Tried the high road but it always ends [narrator.]
On the other side of Methadone Mile, Tristen and Megan have scored their next fix.
[Tristen.]
The first time I tried it, it was the best feeling in the entire world and I've been chasing it ever since.
[narrator.]
Tristen has been using for 15 years.
[Tristen.]
It was basically just complete euphoria.
And I'll never feel that way again.
And knowing that stinks.
You just chase it constantly, it's never enough.
It's very expensive.
Its I spend at least 300 dollars a day.
This is embarrassing, it's like, the first time I'm admitting it, but, um, I'm selling my body, I'm prostituting.
And it's very dangerous.
I don't enjoy doing it at all.
A lot of times, if I can, I'll just take the money and jump out of the car, but I've also gotten seriously beaten up for that before.
Drugs are the most important thing in my life.
It becomes your boyfriend, your mother, your lover, your best friend.
Best friend and worst enemy.
It's your frenemy.
- [Tristen.]
Can't get enough.
- It's there for you, but it's gonna kill you.
[narrator.]
But Fentanyl is taking over.
and it's scaring new users like Deanna.
Fentanyl now is a fake drug which is dropping people dead right away.
There is no chance.
You're dead and that's it.
The Fentanyl does not last long.
You get high for a very short amount of time, unless it's really good stuff, but that depends on what it's mixed with.
[Deanna.]
Hey, come here.
Sit down.
What's wrong? Did you just shoot something? Then why are you feeling like that? Stupid.
I got kicked out of the joint for this.
[chuckles.]
Alright, I'm good.
I'm pretty messed up.
So, the rush was really intense.
Um, pretty sure it was Fentanyl cause it was pretty strong.
- Do you have everything out? - [Deanna.]
It's already Alright, hold it.
[Deanna.]
People don't have a choice to like it because that's all that there is left.
Fentanyl is not heroin.
It could be mixed with heroin, and sometimes it's all Fentanyl.
- [groans.]
- All right.
Okay.
Turn this way.
She's in.
She's in! ["Bring The Good Stuff" playing.]
It's a good day For the truth to come out Oh, it's a good day For the storm to break It's a good day For the truth to get told You're going to have to Fight fire with fire [narrator.]
Before Fentanyl reaches Boston, it has to come through a port of entry.
Good girl.
[narrator.]
In the mail room at New York's JFK airport, a specially trained K-9 spots something.
Next one as well.
[Murielle Lodvil.]
I wanna know exactly what it is, especially if it's a powdered substance.
Am I dealing with some sort of Schedule 1 or am I dealing with Fentanyl? What is it that I'm dealing with? This came up as Fentanyl.
Once we see that we're coming across Fentanyl, then it's a different level of concern.
[narrator.]
Pure Fentanyl is highly toxic.
Officer Lodvil uses scanning technology to test the substance inside the bag.
It looks like it's between twenty to thirty grams of Fentanyl.
That's a lot.
And this little package could kill a lot of people.
[narrator.]
Most of the suspect packages that arrive here come from either China or Germany, and their number is rising.
[Mark Mather.]
Two years ago we seized seven, uh, last year we seized 86 and this year we're over 215 that we've seized so far.
[narrator.]
But the mail route alone cannot account for the number of OD's on the street.
We don't wanna let down our guard.
Every time we see a trend, something gets changed, they'd find a new way to smuggle it, we know the bad guys are going to be looking to circumvent us.
So we're always looking to see where the next trend is going to be.
[narrator.]
The new trend is already here.
It's nearly 3,000 miles away from JFK, outside the city of Culiacán, Mexico.
["Dope Boy" playing.]
All I wanted to be was a dope boy Dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, All I wanted to be was a dope boy Dope boy, dope boy, dope boy, All I wanted to be was a dope boy I only hung around with a dope boy My great grandad was a dope boy [Guicho, in Spanish.]
The drones see us, whether it's the government or not We're in a gorge, really.
We can run and escape because we know the layout of the land.
We're very well located.
[narrator.]
Guicho cooks heroin for the Sinaloa Cartel.
Today he's mixing a batch of opium gum and Fentanyl destined for the United States.
[Guicho, in Spanish.]
And approximately now is when we take the foam out.
It's mixed in with the Fentanyl.
[indistinct.]
Chlorine, acetate, alcohol and Fentanyl.
These chemicals come from China.
Every 15 days, every 20 days, we're making eight to ten kilos.
I charge $2000 dollars per kilo.
It's not very difficult, to tell you the truth.
You have to know the measurements really well.
If you drop any if you go over by a millimeter of the product of each chemical, you'll lose all the work you've done.
[narrator.]
Guicho is not a qualified chemist.
[in Spanish.]
I worked, I was a cattle breeder, I had a few cows.
I didn't like that I was earning so little.
I met up with a few friends and they said, "You know what? You should quit that.
" They worked in the mafia.
They said to me, "Start working in Fentanyl with opium.
" [narrator.]
With the heroin ground to a fine powder, it's time to add the killer ingredient.
[Guicho, in Spanish.]
Fentanyl is a very dangerous chemical.
It's like an acid.
It can really get to you.
It starts to get you hooked, it starts eating you up.
a lot of precaution.
One has to be really careful because if not, it really [indistinct.]
it goes in through the pores and reacts with sweat.
Sweat reacts with Fentanyl.
Then it's placed in the sun for six hours.
Six hours go by, it gets mixed with a blender at home and that's the final process.
Then it gets packed.
[narrator.]
His work is part of a bigger cartel marketing strategy.
[in Spanish.]
The opium poppy plant is heroin.
The other chemical, Fentanyl, is the one that has a lot more demand because it's a lot finer.
[narrator.]
Fentanyl is easy to import.
Easier to smuggle, and far more potent.
Small wonder the cartel wants to stoke the demand.
.
[in Spanish.]
Well, looking at the way in which the economy just keeps asking me for it, it's never going to run out.
It's never going to run out because while there is still demand, I'm never going to stop making it.
Only if one day it ends and they ask me to not sell it anymore, well, then I'll stop making it.
But if I keep getting requests Here there are six kilos that have been processed, after having spent six hours here, and now it gets packaged.
Six kilos is for a client.
We go by each client number.
It's for we have a driver.
It might get sold in Tijuana.
We have a driver that goes to Los Angeles.
From Los Angeles, well, it goes to New York.
[narrator.]
But that journey begins with Guicho taking the product to a stash house in nearby Culiacán.
You can run on for a long time Run on for a long time Run on for a long time Sooner or later God'll cut you down Sooner or later God'll cut you down [Diez, in Spanish.]
If a shipment of drugs comes in, I have to take care of it.
They call me Diez and I work in the Sinaloa cartel.
I do a lot of things, I take care of the drugs, well, anything my boss tells me to do, anything that has to do with the business.
My job is to take care of this whole area.
There are many ranches.
I have to make sure that people don't trespass.
As in, make sure that hell doesn't break lose and that no one hurts us or the other people here.
I really like guns.
I we are all well armed so that nothing happens.
[narrator.]
Diez has drivers on standby, ready to move the product to Tijuana.
[El Americano, in Spanish.]
Hello.
Okay, I'll drop by the office later to get that.
[Diez, in Spanish.]
Well, everything ends up coming from the Sinaloa cartel.
There's a lot of money involved.
If something gets lost they could kill me.
And, well, if something happens to me, well, another guy will take my place.
One doesn't last a whole lifetime here.
[radio chatter.]
[narrator.]
The driver has arrived.
Time for the drugs to hit the road.
[Diez, in Spanish.]
I'm going to ask you to [El Americano, in Spanish.]
Those that want to go fast, to move up or move quickly, those are the ones that fall.
So, one has to have be down to earth in order to not do things that could finish one's career.
El Americano used to traffic guns.
Now it's Fentanyl.
[in Spanish.]
I'm carrying eight kilos, each one is worth 55,000.
With a value of $440,000 in New York.
Here, we get paid weekly.
I get around $1,500 a week.
They pay for our food, they pay for our dinner.
And our funeral arrangements are also paid for.
[narrator.]
The benefits may be good, - but the drive is daunting.
- [siren blares.]
It's 1000 miles north from Culiacán to Tijuana.
A 19 hour journey on a route where the cops lie in wait.
[male officer, in Spanish.]
 Our work is to take action regarding police reports and on routes, civil inspection and surveillance.
We base a lot on a person's profile, nervous ticks, the common types of vehicles.
We inspect the vehicle, observing if parts have been moved, uh, looking for compartments.
The surprise we've come across is that, before, cocaine and crystal meth were confiscated and now Fentanyl is the drug that's substituting them.
[narrator.]
The drug of choice may have changed, but the ways to spot it remain the same.
[male officer, in Spanish.]
There are people who who are carrying illicit drugs and, therefore, they start becoming nervous, they start answering in a certain way, they sometimes begin to get aggressive.
So, that's when one finds a cause to investigate further, you know? [narrator.]
This young driver raises suspicions.
- [in Spanish.]
Where are you coming from? - [indistinct reply.]
- Are you a native of Sinaloa? - Yes.
[male officer, in Spanish.]
He's coming from Sinaloa.
That's about 19 hours.
It's not normal to be traveling alone.
There is no crime.
Nothing was found in the vehicle.
Everything is fine.
[narrator.]
The driver is clean.
Americano, meanwhile, has successfully avoided detection.
After a day and a half on the road, he's nearing his destination: Tijuana - ["Devils Playground" playing.]
- Welcome to the devil's playground You can tread where demons play It's your Candyland Where dreamers dance And I promise that it's safe Welcome to the devil's playground You can look and you can touch It's a real fine day At the black parade And I swear it won't cost much [narrator.]
Tijuana is one of the world's most famous frontier towns.
A sin city that's a magnet for tourists looking to party.
[dance music playing.]
But it's also a key trafficking hub.
[John.]
Our job is the riskiest, crossing it over.
That's the riskiest thing.
They give me the location, I go to it, and I wait.
Sometimes I have to wait hours, and that's when you get nerve wracking because you don't know what's going on when you're just waiting and waiting.
[narrator.]
When a shipment arrives from Culiacán, John goes into action.
I receive a phone a call, they bring it to me, and I wait for the phone call on the other side, I take it to them.
You know, one's exchanged to the other.
[narrator.]
His next assignment involves a batch of pure Fentanyl.
[John.]
This is about 300 grams.
It's very dangerous.
You can't even get it on your hands.
If you open it up, you gotta have gloves.
But I don't plan to open it up, from right here it's gonna go straight to the connect.
When they call, I gotta take it over the other side and I just pass it over.
How much I get? I'd say, I'm usually gonna make eight to ten thousand dollars.
Just for crossing it over.
On this side of the border, it would from 10 to 15 thousand, but once it reaches to the United States, it doubles it up.
I can even go to triple.
It all goes on distance, from California to New York.
The further, the more valuable it gets.
[narrator.]
John is a veteran.
This isn't his first rodeo.
[John.]
And everything is a risk.
I've had close calls, but but you gotta do what you gotta do to make that money.
I try to watch myself.
When I see something go wrong I just wait for the right time.
[narrator.]
It's 4 a.
m.
and for John, the right time is now.
[John.]
You gotta watch your back at all times.
You gotta always be looking around to see if any car's following you, that's why I'm always looking at all the mirrors.
I'm always looking to see if the police are anywhere around.
[narrator.]
He's hoping to blend in with the dawn rush hour heading north.
Over 25 million vehicles cross into the U.
S.
every year at San Ysidro alone.
For Customs and Border Protection, finding Fentanyl is a matter of intelligence, experience, and sheer luck.
[Shalene Thomas.]
As far as the cartels go, Their mindset is what's the best way I can get my narcotic across.
So the more travelers there are it's gonna be beneficial for them because they think they can blend in.
So for them, high traffic times, you know, in the mornings, people going to work, they're going to school.
Holiday weekends when it's busy, people trying to come back, you know, those kind of things are typically what cartels try to look for.
[narrator.]
Officer Shalene Thomas and her team have gotten intel that a shipment of heroin laced with Fentanyl is coming through today.
We've seen it come across in a pill form, we've seen it come across in powders loose packages or even brick packages where it's really tightly packed together.
[narrator.]
Thomas's team have developed a sixth sense for contraband.
They need it.
[Shalene Thomas.]
The cartels are gonna use different places in the car.
They're gonna use the batteries in the car, glove compartments, uh, in the trunk, tires.
[narrator.]
But with Fentanyl, they have to be extra careful.
Fentanyl, it's one of the most dangerous narcotics that we're seeing crossing the ports of entry to this day, right now.
[narrator.]
A lot of the time, they come up empty.
The cartels, right, they have one job.
One job is move your product.
We have many jobs.
So, they only have to get it right one time, we gotta get it right every single time.
I mean you think it, it's probably already been done.
["Get Up" playing.]
Wake up to the truth, America We've fallin' for the seventh time Keep lookin' for the seventh sign Four horses on a final ride [narrator.]
Once across the border, Fentanyl spreads nationwide, seeking dealers willing to push it either cut with heroin, or pure.
Time to get up Time to get up now [El Perro, in Spanish.]
You know what the oldest trick in the Devil's book is? Convincing everyone he doesn't exist.
[narrator.]
El Perro has taken delivery of a consignment that he plans to distribute across the northeast.
[El Perro, in Spanish.]
I like being a ghost.
I like being clandestine.
I don't trust anyone, I keep a facade and I don't want anyone to know me, no one to see my face.
That way, there's no risk of someone finding out where you're hiding the stash and then taking it.
I'm very inscrutable.
I don't let anyone in.
Uh that's why I didn't want to do this interview but I have to, you know? By orders from the top.
I receive the goods from Mexico every week or every 15 days.
It varies.
The quantity also varies.
This one is Chiva Blanca.
This is the big cake.
Fentanyl.
This shit, I don't like it.
I don't like touching it.
It's very dangerous.
If you don't know how to handle this product it could be mortal.
This is just one kilo.
Every package costs $50,000 and the special package costs $60,000.
Here.
Fentanyl is new.
They're asking for it a lot over here.
I understand that they even buy it through the internet.
I earn a lot of money but sometimes I don't even know how much, how much comes in.
It just comes in.
I know it comes in.
I could retire and not work for the rest of my life It's not the money that drives most of us to do this, it's the feeling of power.
That feeling of adrenaline, of being there but being like a ghost.
There's an adrenaline, a power, and there's no comparison.
Money can't buy it.
Another way I take care of myself a lot, as you can see, is that I don't wear expensive brandname clothes.
I don't wear jewelry.
I don't use weapons.
You could see me on the street and you'd have no idea I'm in this business.
I store everything I can in different houses.
In Mexico we say, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket".
What I do every day is look for new houses, make sure they're safe.
I comb the area visit I see who the neighbors are.
I'll rent it, leave the other ones and I move around.
I'm taking this product to be distributed in Boston with the contacts we have over there.
- ["Like Whatever You Want" playing.]
- Let's go! See I can break it down Like whatever you want Ever you want, every you want Ever you want, ever you want See I can break it down Like whatever you want Organically manufactured To rattle your trunk [narrator.]
After traveling 3000 miles from Culiacán, the Fentanyl finally arrives in Boston.
Rat pack, dope sack rumblin' thump [Bobby.]
My name is Bobby.
I have a nine to five job normally, but during the night I push Fentanyl.
[narrator.]
Bobby used to deal heroin, but now there's only one drug in town.
I guess I sell Fentanyl by choice now.
At first, you didn't really know what you were getting.
I don't speak Spanish, so, you know, they just say, "New batch! New batch!" You know? "New, new, new.
" Fentanyl is huge in Boston.
I don't even think you can get heroin around here anymore, it's just Fentanyl.
Every single day I see people, more users, new users, there's more people on Methadone Mile.
Seems like it's getting bigger and bigger.
Haunts and transactions, everything.
People getting high, people just doing drugs on the side of the street, It's pretty crazy.
Just junkies all over the place.
I don't get it, Personally.
I don't like walking on the street like a zombie, but hey, if these people wanna spend money on it, then you know, gets me more wealthy, I'll do it.
If it's not me selling it, it's gonna be the next guy selling it.
That's the bottom line.
These people are gonna get it one way or another.
I'm from a blue collar family.
I'd always see people driving around in a Mercedes, and I always wanted that.
This affords me the means to do that.
If you do the right thing, you make some good money.
I'm seeing probably 15, 20 people a day.
I'm probably making 400 bucks a day, profit.
I always carry a firearm, you know, whenever I'm carrying large sums of money, there's always somebody who's always gonna want to take that from you, whether it's product or money, so I always like to stay protected.
[narrator.]
Like most street dealers, Bobby packs heat.
But what he sells is potentially more dangerous.
This right here, this is a finger of Fentanyl.
 Ten grams.
Could probably make upwards of 1000 dollars pretty easily, street level.
[narrator.]
Before making sales, Bobby splits the product into 30 dollar wraps.
[Bobby.]
It's a necessary evil.
I like counting money better.
[cellphone rings and vibrates.]
Hello.
Hey, what's up, bro? Alright, you want four? Meet me in about 20 minutes.
Alright, alright.
Later.
[narrator.]
With phone orders coming in, it's time to hit the streets.
Again.
[Bobby.]
Damn.
Look at all the cops down here.
There's so many cops down here.
They just fed up with all the bullshit and the nonsense that goes on with the junkies.
He's a regular of mine, and he's right around the corner.
So I'm just gonna give him a call in a second, just let him know I'm close.
And, uh, head out to the spot Hey, I'm about to turn on the street.
Hey.
Alright.
And that's it.
[narrator.]
While the dealers cash in, it's users like Deanna who have to pay the price.
I'm so sick of cars pulling over and men asking me how much my body is worth.
I'm scared.
I'm afraid to get into a car with somebody.
You wanna know what hell is? There's no such thing as hell down there.
Hell is exactly what you're staring at.
This is hell.
[narrator.]
And for Methadone Mile veterans like Tristen, the daily dice with death continues [Tristen.]
I've been on pretty much a suicide mission for the last few months.
I don't want help and I don't wanna do this anymore.
[narrator.]
As the cartel pushes Fentanyl on users, in a downward spiral that can only end one way.
[siren blares.]
[Tom Binnall.]
Sometimes you don't save someone, sometimes you lose someone.
One, two, three Is this a bad batch, is this just a couple of bad days and you just wanna make sure that we're on top of this and making sure we're doing the best we can for this crisis.
Hopefully you save more than you lose and that's all you can strive to do.
[siren blares.]
["Ash Again" playing.]
You held me down Until the dust fell off My wings, my wings are all I've got But you'll fade You'll fade To ash again