LSD Millionaires: Operation Julie

Published on 1st February 2016 by

Operation Julie was a huge UK police investigation into the production of LSD by two drugs rings in the mid-Seventies, the investigation involved officers from 11 UK police forces over a two and a half year period and it culminated with the breakup of one of the largest LSD manufacturing operations in the world and the seizure of enough LSD to make 6.5 million tabs and an additional 1.1 million tabs which were ready for distribution. It was, at the time, the largest drug haul in British history.

Over 120 people were arrested in the UK and France in connection with the manufacturing and distribution of LSD and a significant amount of cash was seized from numerous Swiss bank accounts. The ring involved Richard Kemp, a chemist who is credited as being the first person to synthesize LSD in 1969. Such was the size of the drugs empire that the price of LSD immediately increased from £1 a tab to £5 a tab in the UK, which suggested that the countries supply of the drug had been seriously restricted by the raids. It is believed that two UK based laboratories had been exporting their product to over 100 countries.

LSD Millionaires: Operation Julie is a 2007 documentary produced by the BBC to mark the 30th anniversary of the operation and raids. Operation Julie completely rewrote the way that authorities police drugs and the way that drug manufacturers and dealers operated.


There have been numerous books published about Operation Julie, perhaps the most interesting is To Live Outside the Law: Caught by Operation Julie, Britain’s Biggest Drugs Bust. The book was written by Leaf Fielding who was one of those arrested by police in the sting, he was responsible for turning raw material into accurately measured doses. The book is the only insider account of Operation Julie.

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