Work

Keegan Hamilton is the U.S. Editor at VICE News, where writes, edits, and produces stories and videos about drug policy, criminal justice, immigration, and North Korea, among other subjects. He was previously a freelance contributor to The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, the Village Voice, The Guardian, and other publications. A native of Washington state, he graduated from the University of Washington and began his career as a writer for alt-weekly newspapers Seattle Weekly and Riverfront Times in St. Louis. 

Check out his past work.

The Plan to Make America's Nukes Great Again Could Go Horribly Wrong

The story of a computer glitch at a nuclear missile base and the catch-22 in the plan to modernize America's ICBMs.

Meth, Murder, and the DEA's Mysterious Deal With the 'Most Dangerous Man in the World'

A three-part series for VICE News about the case of Paul Le Roux, a notorious drug and weapons dealer who struck a deal with the DEA to set up his former employees and associates, including a team of ex-military sniper hitmen, an outlaw biker gang, and Hong Kong triad gangsters linked to meth production in North Korea.  

Part I: North Korean Meth, Motorcycle Gangs, Army Snipers, and a Guy Named Rambo.

Part II: 'Rambo' Has PTSD: The Strange Case of an International DEA Murder-For-Hire Drug Sting

Part III: Meth, Murder, and the DEA's Mysterious Deal With the 'Most Dangerous Man in the World'

Postscript: Devil of a Deal: The DEA’s deal with drug kingpin Paul Le Roux didn't turn out as planned 

Weed Fraud: Are Marijuana Testing Labs Falsifying Results to Help Growers?

Many of the states that have legalized marijuana now require tests for potency and purity to ensure that consumers know exactly what they’re buying when they visit a dispensary. But the labs that conduct these tests are governed by rules that vary widely from state to state, and there are concerns within the industry that unscrupulous labs are operating without adequate oversight and colluding with growers to falsify results. See also: This Man May Be Legal Weed's Best Hope.

Ultra-potent Synthetic Heroin Is Spreading Across America

As more and more Americans have switched to heroin from prescription painkillers, drug dealers have turned to synthetic opioids to meet the skyrocketing demand. The result is a seemingly unstoppable surge in fatal overdoses.

I also co-produced this VICE News Tonight package on the powerful synthetic opioid carfentanil.

My exclusive interview with the street artist Banksy during his one-month residency in New York City in October 2014.

Meet The Scientists Who May Have Found The Cure For Drug Addiction

Illustration by Michael Wandelmaier for BuzzFeed

Illustration by Michael Wandelmaier for BuzzFeed

Researchers are closer than ever before to finding a cure for dependence on stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine. But will big pharma and the FDA stand in the way?

North Korea Learned How to Test Nukes From the U.S.

My story on the researchers who use satellite imagery to monitor and study North Korea's nuclear testing site. 

I also co-produced this VICE News Tonight on HBO package about how the tech startup Planet Labs is changing the way open-source intelligence analysts look at North Korea.

The story of an inmate uprising at an immigrant detention center in Texas, and a look at the influence of the private prison industry on the 2016 presidential election. Originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of VICE magazine.

The Shaman Will See you Now

An investigative feature about Dimitri "Mobengo" Mugianis, a self-proclaimed shaman who uses the potent hallucinogenic drug ibogaine to treat opiate addiction. When a prospective patient became an informant for the DEA, Mugianis and his associates were targeted in a lengthy and elaborate sting operation.

How a 19-Year-Old North Korean Escaped and Became a Sushi Chef in America

Photo by Grace Kim for VICE News

Photo by Grace Kim for VICE News

In the past 10 years, 186 North Korean defectors have settled in the US. After facing months or even years of danger and hardship on their journey to America, they often must deal with intense isolation as they struggle to forge new lives. I also hosted an episode of the VICE News show On The Line about this issue.

Dog Beat Dog

To pull off the biggest pit bull fighting bust in U.S. history, investigators went deep undercover. So did their dogs.

How America's Legal Weed Is Changing the Black Market and Influencing Mexican Cartels

Photo by Kirsten Luce for VICE News

Photo by Kirsten Luce for VICE News

State-level marijuana legalization in the US has been hailed as a way to eliminate black markets and impede drug cartels. So far, both are still thriving — but that won't last forever.

Asylum Insanity: Welcome to the Land of the Free

An investigation for the Village Voice reveals how a process created to save innocent lives has come to embody some of the worst aspects of American immigration policy.

Recipe for Disaster

Photo by Tom Carlson for Riverfront Times

Photo by Tom Carlson for Riverfront Times

The explosive "shake-and-bake" method of making crystal meth is burning its way through America's Midwest and South.

 

Remembering Mandela, the Boxer

When Nelson Mandela’s died at age 95, the world lost not only a champion of equality, freedom, and democracy, but also an all-time great boxing philosopher and aficionado.

It Ain't Rocket Science

Good ol' boys from Missouri to Mississippi love launching anvils. Selected as a notable story of 2010 by editors of The Best American Sports Writing. Also check out the anvil shooting YouTube video, which has been viewed 2.5 million times and counting.