Evil Empire

Investigators say he was bigger than Sammy the Bull. His minions say he ruled the drug trade in the Valley's rave scene. Now, authorities have "English Shaun," the man they claim reigned over a nighttime empire of ecstasy, meth, violence and excess.

So he heard of English Shaun's powdered E and wanted to meet him. Two weeks after the Icey party, he says, he did meet him, at a rave at the Icehouse. "He was just this really sort of vibrant, attractive character, and I more or less had a friend introduce me, and came right out with it: that I heard he had really good E and I wanted to talk to him about buying in bulk. . . . He wasn't the guy going around the party doing hand-to-hand transactions. Already, he had people to do that for him. But he told me he'd flag me down that night as he was leaving, and I could follow him home and we'd talk things over."

Later that night, he did follow Shaun and his entourage to Shaun's home; Marcus won't say just where. Among that entourage that night, he says, were none of the people now indicted, except for Shaun. "I think it was more or less just a bunch of kids he'd met in the scene," Marcus says. "This was the very beginning of Shaun's syndicate. He was in the recruitment phase, seeing who worked out and who didn't. And I worked out very well."

The atmosphere that night was typical rave after-party chic. The lights were either dimmed, colored or black. Fractal videos played on TV monitors with the sound down low. "This was like 4:30 in the morning," he says. "There's people crashed everywhere, making out standing up against the walls everywhere, some guy who's all fucked up trying to make smoothies in the kitchen and getting frozen blueberries all over the place — that's one detail I remember, just that these frozen blueberries were flying out of the blender and then getting tracked all over the place, rolling around like little cold marbles . . ."

Sherwin Williams was indicted on charges that include conspiracy and use of a minor in a drug offense.
Todd H. Lillard
Sherwin Williams was indicted on charges that include conspiracy and use of a minor in a drug offense.
Defense attorney Alan Simpson says Shaun Attwood is just a day-trader from Tucson with no serious charges against him.
Todd H. Lillard
Defense attorney Alan Simpson says Shaun Attwood is just a day-trader from Tucson with no serious charges against him.


Read Westword's related feature story about black-market GHB, "Sip of Fools."

Business and pleasure were never far apart in Shaun's mind, as Marcus soon found out. "At one point Shaun is sitting on this couch with these two young girls, an arm around each of them, and they have glitter on their face and their arms and their legs. You know, glitter girls . . . really hot but really young. . . . [He] gets up with the girls and walks back to his room with them. But he's caught my eye as he's getting up from the couch, so he knows I'm watching him," Marcus remembers with a smirk. "But then as they're getting right up to the bedroom door, he flips his head back over his shoulder and sort of quickly nods for me to follow him."

Weaving through the dancers, he made his way to the bedroom; Shaun locked the door behind them. Inside, Marcus says, there was a "pile of powder" on the bedside stand. Shaun then took out a deck of playing cards, Marcus remembers, cut the deck repeatedly until he found the Queen of Hearts, and used the card to shovel out a dose of E onto a rave flier on the bed.

"I'd never heard of anyone snorting E, at this point, right? . . . But one of the glitter girls sort of sees me looking a little freaked out, and she goes, It's E. It's good. Do it.' So I put that shit up my beak and it burned like a bitch for about 30 seconds, and then the rush hit me and I was all good, you know? All of a sudden I was the coolest person in the world and so were they. I was used to taking E in a pill, where it takes 30, 45 minutes to kick in. So snorting it, I was like, Damn. Okay. This guy knows his drugs.'"

For the next two hours, Marcus and Shaun talked, while the glitter girls played with one another's hair on a velvet love seat, constantly arranging and rearranging styles, taking turns on one another.

"Shaun was mister congeniality, you know, mister polite manners and charming accent," Marcus says. "We talked about music, about the scene in Phoenix, about the party that night. . . . And then at one point he tells me, Well, let's get back to business for a moment.'"

Marcus explained his current arrangement to Shaun: He was getting 50 pills for $750 from his current supplier, but the quality of the drugs was inconsistent. English Shaun, he says, saw an opportunity — to recruit a new seller while hobbling his competition.

"So Shaun tells me, I can do you better, but here's the thing: You work with me, and only me, from now on.' I got the sense he'd decided to go head-to-head with this guy, you know, and he was like a headhunter from a rival stock company, trying to hire away a top broker."

Marcus says Shaun promised consistent, high quality, and a much better price. But Marcus would have to buy more pills at a time. "He told me the way his operation worked was, he liked to buy larger amounts every once in a while — you know, the fewer deals on the whole, the better for everyone — rather than making a deal every two weeks. And he said if you bought his E to sell, you had to do the same. Meaning I had to buy 500 hits a time instead of 50, except that instead of paying 15 a pill, I'm paying 10. And if all goes well, he'll drop it to 9 in six months. You know, like I was on probation for a new job or some shit."

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