Rob Jodoin, the bane of the kratom community and ethnobotanical world at large, finally is no longer… well, at large. I was made aware of this happy news when I noticed multiple of my botanical buddies and herbal vendor and consumer colleagues posting the news. But what was so bad about Jodoin?
In addition to fairly openly selling multiple dangerous, illegal analogs and research chemicals Jodoin was known to adulterate his "natural botanical products." Often he did so with very dangerous and addictive compounds that if ingested unknowingly might have led to dangerous interactions or even death. Chances are this guy, who had been operating not on the Dark Web or whatever FBI-run op is posing as the latest Tor-based Silk Road, but in the clear web through his "Shamanic Visions" website…and good, old Facebook. To be fair, Facebook isn't very concerned about public safety; they're more worried about "offensive memes." Case in point, I've had trolls track me down at Twitter and Facebook who targeted me for my work at The Goldwater. My own mother received a thinly veiled rape threat from one (her response was she'd have a "Tennessee greeting card" waiting for him, in Tennessee, our musical cards make a click then a bang).
But back to Jodoin, how do we know he even adulterated products? Besides the numerous reports from people who got sick, woozy, lightheaded or seriously ill taking products that should not have had any such effect there's the fact that he had openly bragged about it. He admitted "spiking" some batches of perfectly safe herbs with nasty, synthetic additives.
According to screencaps I saw years ago, he had threatened to put rat poison in products of customers he didn't like. If you search his name, <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/kratom/comments/40hwzj/i_know_were_all_getting_tired_of_hearing_about/">a Reddit thread from 2016</a> crops up warning about Jodoin despite people being "tired of hearing about him." For us old hands, his name was well known, but there's always an unsuspecting newbie who could fall prey. I saw where years ago, he threatened to put rat poison in products of a customer he didn't like. Then there were the threats of murder, assault and even rape of family members of those who crossed him.
So why didn't someone just report him to Facebook or better yet, the police? Ah, but they did. Rob's m.o.was to threaten those who tried to "harm his business" by warning people of his dangerous, adulterated products. There were even threats levied at children of his perceived enemies. Did I mention that this was going on for three years, once again, at good, old Facebook. Too bad he didn't post a pro-Trump comment or they might have had him Zucc'd long ago.
Meanwhile, it infuriates me to no end that I've defended in print innocent people arrested without cause. Take the Haglers who were charged with heroin possession when police found their perfectly legal kratom leaf powder. (Leaf powder, by the way, neither looks nor smells like white China or black tar, but hey, it was Christmas, maybe they were late on quotas). Or there's Caleb McGillvary, better known as Kai the Hitchhiker. Kai has spent nearly five years now in jail without a trial. In case you're wondering, yes, that's explicitly unconstitutional.
Well, finally the long arm of the law has collared Jodoin. He now faces federal indictment, his website is forfeited and after being caught with over a kilogram of GHB and "multiple powders consistent with controlled substances," drug ledgers and a firearm, as well as packaging supplies for mailing Rob, is facing a mandatory 5-year minimum if convicted.
During a search of Jodoin’s residence, law enforcement found a firearm, drug ledgers reflecting purchases and sales of controlled substances, multiple powders consistent with controlled substances, and packaging supplies used for mailing. It may have taken them a while, but it sounds like the cavalry showed up all at once. <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/flagler-beach-man-indicted-drug-and-gun-charges">The arrest followed a joint investigation</a> involving U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with a little bit of help from the Florida National Guard Counterdrug Program, Volusia County Sherrif's Office and the Flagler Beach Police Department.
And all I got to say about the whole thing after all that is, "Book 'em, Dano."