ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. - Police in Anne Arundel County plan to turn up the heat on heroin use.
"It's an issue that we're taking very very seriously in 2014. In fact, it's one of the four things that we are going to do and we're going to do it well," said Police Chief Kevin Davis.
"Nationally there's really been a squeeze ... for some time now regarding pharmaceuticals, prescription drugs," he said. While that is good thing, many of the addicts, unable to get their hands on drugs like Oxycontin are turning to heroin.
Davis said now they are also seeing a more pure form of the drug on the streets, more than 90 percent pure, and that their labs have recently found the substance fentanyl in some of the heroin confiscated.
Fentanyl and heroin, Davis says, is "just a deadly combination."
"We need to do a much better job at responding to our non-fatal overdose calls for service," Davis says. He wants to gather more information from victims and their families in hopes of finding out who the dealers and suppliers are.
Davis says better education about the dangers of heroin for young people is also a must. The plan is to make school resource officers experts on the topic and they will teach classes.
"That specifically addresses heroin, fentanyl, how folks end up using those drugs. And we're going to do a much better job getting to the young people."
On Thursday, as part Operation H.O.P.E. (Heroin Overdose Prevention & Eradication) police made seven arrests and remove several thousand dollars worth of drugs from the streets.
The arrests included a Huntington Md. man who police say was found Thursday afternoon in a car with drug paraphernalia and a fully loaded hypodermic syringe. Joeseph Andrew Gaetano, 22, was arrested and charged with possessing heroin.
An Annapolis, 27-year-old Adam Scott Konsistorum was arrested after police say they walked by his Honda Civic and found him holding a hypodermic syringe in his hand. They also found a spoon, which they suspect he used to prepare the drug, on the center console. He was charged for having heroin and drug paraphernalia.
The biggest arrest came after officers searched a room at a Best Western on Riva Road in Annapolis. Officers found 21.6 grams of heroin, a street value of $2,592, and 30 grams of cocaine, valued at $2,700.
Dewayne Mason, 35, of Annapolis, was charged with drug possession and intent to distribute.
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