Prosecutors Targeting Suppliers As Md. Heroin Deaths Surge
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As Maryland heroin related deaths surge, prosecutors in Baltimore are targeting suppliers, with more than 50 people indicted in three months.
WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren has the latest on the targets.
Police say 27 people all operated in West Baltimore. Law enforcement is cracking down, but the demand appears as high as ever.
Some have called Baltimore America’s heroin capital. Maryland has seen heroin-related deaths surge 88 percent in recent years.
In the shadow of downtown Baltimore, prosecutors indicted 27 people in the string of west-side blocks, including a man named Aaron Ausby. They believe he supplied the Mondawmin area.
“We think we’re having an impact because once the indictments are returned and the arrests are made, we’re seeing a drop in violence, a drop in drug dealing,” said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Berstein.
“Baltimore faces a triple threat with great availability, lower cost and higher potency heroin. Estimates of addicts in the city rage from 6,000 to 60,000 or one in ten people,” he said.
But it’s not just here. Interstate 95 remains a major drug corridor. Last week, police arrested a truck driver in Harford County with a million dollar stash.
The highly addictive drug has torn families apart Nationwide. Susan Cyr’s son, Eric, died of an overdose.
“Everyone says he’s at peace but I’m in the nightmare,” she said.
Lori Gonsalves’ son, Corey, once a star athlete, also overdosed but survived and suffered massive brain damage.
“He went to Oxy. That became too expensive. So that’s when they go to heroin,” said Gonsalves.
“I mean it’s $5. That’s the same price as a happy meal,” said Cyr.
A cheap thrill, and back in Baltimore, the war to stop it is far from finished.
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