Keegan Hamilton is the U.S. Editor at VICE News, where he covers drug policy, criminal justice, and immigration. His work as a producer for VICE News Tonight on HBO was nominated a 2017 Emmy award. Click here to see his most recent stories.

He was previously a freelance contributor to The Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, The Village Voice, and The Guardian, among other publications. He studied journalism and comparative literature at the University of Washington and began his career as a reporter for Seattle Weekly and The Riverfront Times in St. Louis.

Here's a collection of his past work: 

How Fentanyl Gets to the U.S. From China

The powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is now the deadliest drug in America, causing an estimated 19,000 fatal overdoses in 2016. Most of the illicit fentanyl comes from China. VICE News met Customs and Border Protection agents who search for fentanyl in the mail. We also obtained the first on-camera interview about fentanyl with an official from China's National Narcotics Control Commission.

See also: Exclusive: China won’t arrest two fentanyl kingpins wanted by U.S.

An exclusive analysis of data from the 50 largest local police departments in the United States shows that police shoot Americans more than twice as often as previously known. Written and reported with Rob Arthur, Taylor Dolven, Allison McCann, and Carter Sherman. 

More from our investigation:

Life After Deadly Force: What It's Like to Survive a Police Shooing

Explore Data on Police Shootings From the 50 Largest Departments

How to Stop Cops From Needlessly Killing So Many People

How To Get a Baby — And A Mom — Off Heroin

With the United States in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic, pregnant women all over the country are struggling with addiction. Seeking drug treatment often leads to situations that exacerbate feelings of guilt and shame. Kids can be taken away. Moms can end up behind bars. But one program in Kentucky has found a better way. Part of the series "A Nation in Recovery."

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

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

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.

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 segment on the powerful synthetic opioid carfentanil, which was nominated for Outstanding Hard News Feature Story in a Newscast at the  the 38th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

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

  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?

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.

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.

 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.

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

 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.

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.

 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.


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.

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.