"I Can't Eat all the Pizza by Myself": The Terms Indicted Drug Dealers Used To Disguise Their Heroin Business


Yesterday, we reported news of the single largest heroin takedown in Northeast Ohio history: 92 men and woman were named in a 203-count indictment. That indictment, 191-pages in all, is pretty detailed (read it below). It contains transcripts of tapped phone calls and text messages from the drug dealers and buyers discussing their businesses operations.


"Mr. Shephard, this is Mr. Miller, I would like to purchase 27.26 grams of heroin, please," is something that somebody in this line of work is not going to say over the phone.

Instead, they used numbers, vagueries and code words to set up the heroin deals. Mostly, they used broad questions to ask about the heroin ("what's up with it?") and just numbers to signify the costs and amount ("Make it 40 and 30" for two things of heroin worth $40 and $30, for example). But sometimes, they used other terms for it. Here's a list of those terms associated with heroin and the heroin trade with the translation of those terms in parentheses coming directly from the federal indictment, in chronological order (emphasis ours):

—"The brown (heroin)"
—"You don't want to take a dog (heroin) on a test run (try a sample of heroin), do ya?"
—"Yeah, we gotta have lunch again today (meet for a heroin transaction." … "we havin' lunch (we are going to meet)" ... "Same, like, same sandwiches (same quantity and type of heroin)?"
—"Call Joker's phone so we can find out where and when we can go to get those mattresses (two ounces of heroin)."
—"Suppose' to be fire (high quality heroin)."
—"'Cuz I can't, can't keep riding around dirty (driving with heroin in his vehicle) like this, man."
—"I don't know, for a twamp ($20 worth of heroin) or something?"
—"I need that action (heroin)."
—"I got fire (high-quality heroin)."
—"He's got a … I saw the, the new movie, right (tried a new supply of heroin)."
—"Keep that damn heat (high-quality heroin) for me."
—"Handling your handle (still had heroin)?"
—"I'm just going to hit one of my licks (sell heroin) real quick."
—"possibly even a baller (3.5 grams of heroin" — 8-ball
—"I c u maken that winter snow money (I see you're making money selling heroin)."
—"U got sum more of that raw (do you have more of the uncut heroin)?"
—"Give 'em the, uh, remix (heroin that has been cut."
—"What's you wanted? The red (heroin)?"
—"Looking for somebody to burn (supply fake heroin to as a way to steal their money), baby."
—"No, that's plain (uncut heroin). You can hit that (mix it with a cutting agent to increase the quantity."
—"Tell yo dude I got flame (high-quality heroin).
—"I need you to find me one like right now to give us a read (someone to test a sample of heroin)."
—"I'm about to go and grab the picture (heroin sample)…"
—"Man, yes, he want three ballies (three packages of 3.5 grams of heroin for a total of 10.5 grams)."
—"Hey, you still got that same yellow stuff, that peanut butter looking stuff (heroin) I got off of you the other day?"
—"S**t, grab a picture (heroin sample) or something."
—"All my people like the, the nose (heroin users who snort it) they say is great, but the, you know what I'm saying, the banger (heroin users who inject it), they was saying a little less."
—"I'm probably 'bout to spend another band ($1,000) with you on this (heroin)."
—"I need a couple them bitches (heroin) from you."
—"You rocked it (re-compressed the heroin after diluting it) already?"
—"This s**t some show and tell (showing a heroin supplier money to arrange a later purchase of heroin)."
—"I'm talking about couple plays, (heroin sales) though. Like nice plays."
— ".... got knocked with a brick (kilogram) of heroin, a brick (kilogram) of coke, two hundred fifty thousand in cash and a .40 cal (firearm) on the 27th of April."
—"I'm in the trap (heroin stash house)."
—"I ordered a pizza (kilogram of heroin). And you know I can't eat all the pizza (sell the entire kilogram) by myself"

Take a look for yourself (all this pizza talk has made me hungry):

About The Author

Doug Brown

Doug Brown is a staff writer at Scene with a passion for public records laws and investigative reporting. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he has an M.A. in journalism from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in political science from Hiram College. Prior to joining Scene,...
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