The Benicia Police Department is warning parents to track their kids’ online purchases after catching a 15-year-old buying LSD from another country over the Internet.
The department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service intercepted a shipment of 50 doses of LSD that was ordered from abroad by the young buyer, police said. A photo shared by the department shows an LSD tab sheet tucked inside a plastic trading card sleeve and included with two other Magic: The gathering cards. The Solano County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case and considering charges, police said.
“More importantly, we would like to make parents and guardians aware of this incident,” the department said. “With the ease of technology, illegal drugs are becoming more accessible to everyone. Make sure you are aware of all transactions that your children are making online.”
The drug market has grown online in recent years and drug cryptomarkets host illicit drug sellers operating in a hidden part of the Internet know as the “dark net.” Teens can use common social media apps and encrypted messaging apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp to buy drugs from other countries.
An investigation by the Tech Transparency Project found that it’s easy for teens ages 13 through 17 to buy drugs through Instagram and called it a “drug pipeline to kids.”
“When a hypothetical teen user logged into the Instagram app, it only took two clicks to reach an account selling drugs like Xanax. In contrast, it took more than double the number of clicks—five—for the teen to log out of Instagram,” the report said.
In March, the social media platform owned by Facebook introduced a new tool called Family Center that allows parents to oversee their kids’ accounts.
Snapchat has taken steps this year to detect drug-related content and work with law enforcement organizations. The company says on its blog that it has “zero tolerance for promoting illicit drugs on Snapchat” and prohibits the buying or selling of illegal or regulated drugs.