BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s top cop confirms what WJZ has been reporting – -almost 200,000 narcotics are on the streets of Baltimore, and police say they’re fueling deadly turf wars.
Christie Ileto with the new information.READ MORE: Baltimore Bishop And Playwright Aims To Bring Redemption To The Stage
Police believe stolen prescription drugs are driving the violence sweeping the city.
“There’s enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year,” Commissioner Batts said.
More than 175,000 units or doses of drugs were looted from 27 pharmacies and two methadone clinics during the April 27 riots. Almost half of those businesses haven’t even finished assessing what was stolen.
“I think that part of it’s connected to turf battled between gangs and independent drug dealers. You also have a new source, a new inventory of drugs on the street that people have to sell,” said DEA Special Agent Gary Tuggle. “They’re selling to a limited number of people, so they’re vying for that customer base.”
Adrian Pleasant turned away from the criminal lifestyle years ago, but says something else is fueling the lawlessness.READ MORE: Johns Hopkins Experts Describe Updated Gun Control Laws As 'Great First Step'
“The drugs has always been out here. And there’s always been crime out here. And it’s just so happened crime has escalated, but it’s still not behind the drugs,” he said.
Still, the body count rises — 43 homicides last month — the highest in more than 40 years.
“Enough has been over,” said Dr. Lisa Weah, New Bethlehem Church.
Community clergy fight to keep their blocks clean.
“As we’re walking down the street now, this corner here has been just open trafficking for several weeks now,” said Weah.
The harsh reality of many Baltimore neighborhoods.
“I am submitting a request to ask for more federal prosecutors and more federal agents to move to the city of Baltimore to assist us in this battle against this violence,” said Batts.MORE NEWS: Where's Marty? Learning About The Queens Cruise To Kick Off Pride Weekend
Police also announced they have a warrant for a man named Kevin Pilot, who they believe is responsible for the Memorial Day murder of a 27-year-old man and the shooting injury of a nine-year-old boy.