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Dead drops sounds like an awful way to distribute anything at scale. The loss from other people finding stuff seems enormous also.

Illicit drug and alcohol distribution has traditionally large nominal margins and large expected loss at every layer, commensurate with the efficacy of law enforcement.

So long as there's sufficient profit margin to allow for an acceptable "shrinkage", it just becomes a cost of doing business. The benefits in terms of privacy/security for the typical darknet vendor probably make it well worth low double digit percentage losses, given the assumed margins from source to end user...

I don't know how secure it is when a cop sees you drop a bag of heroin behind a bench instead of just shipping people stuff.

They wouldn't drop at a public bench with people around

Even normal drug dealers often don’t have the drugs on their person. Instead they are stashed away somewhere close and retrieved on demand.

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