WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In July, the Winston-Salem Police Department, along with other agencies, geared up for and executed a heroin bust after 11 people overdosed in the city in a four-hour time span on a Friday night.
Along the way, investigators seized more than $41,000 worth of drugs including; heroin, crack cocaine, opiate pills, and marijuana, among others. They also seized illegal guns, money, and stolen property, and arrested dozens of people for possession and trafficking. Winston-Salem police believe there will be more arrests, and more drugs seized in the coming weeks.
Winston-Salem Drug Arrests - Over 30 Charged
Sergeant Jeff Branham with the Special Investigations Division credits the hard work of ATF, DEA, HSI, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kernersville Police Department in helping Winston-Salem officers execute the 10 search warrants. Seventy-five people were arrested on felony charges, and 88 on misdemeanor charges after a month of planning, and a week of round-the-clock work.
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Sergeant Branham says this will help for the meantime, but it is only a partial solution to the nation's opioid problem. He says, just five years ago, the majority of what they were picking up off the streets was crack cocaine. But now, things have shifted and a majority of what they see is heroin.
The reality though, these drugs don't discriminate, and addicts will flock to hard stuff, rather than run from it.
"The portrait of a heroin user could be anybody from 15 to 60, any race, any sex, any socioeconomic status," said Sgt. Branham, "If I'm a drug dealer, and I sell heroine that makes 11 people overdose, in the heroin user community, I'm the most popular drug dealer in town."