GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. - The Asheboro Police boast the largest drug bust in the department’s history, after they got more than $150 thousand worth of heroin off the streets, and locked up the suspected drug dealer.
But across all agencies, there’s an understanding – they can't celebrate too long. The next dealer and stash will quickly take its place.
Guilford County Sheriff's Lieutenant Matt Holder says, it doesn't stop after one bust, not even close.
“There's always another supplier,” he said, “There's always another source of supply. We are not able to cut that off because some of it comes from other countries, some of it comes from other states. What we try to do is identify a notable source of supply, and we disrupt that as much as possible.”
That disruption means confiscating drugs, making arrests - then going back in, finding out more about other illegal operations that are still going on. Some cases take a day, while others, several months or years. Lt. Holder says they'll carry out between 50 and 100 busts a year, working alone and with other agencies, and heroin, opioid and fentanyl cases take up the majority of their time right now.
“I would say 50 to 60% of our cases, and that's just a rough estimate, involve some sort of heroin trafficking,” he said.
Different drugs come with different sentences, and if they can get a dealer on a heroin conviction, that'll mean the most prison time.
“It is not uncommon to see 15, 20, double digit sentences for heroin distribution at the trafficking levels,” Holder said.
Police in Greensboro and High Point say they’ve seen progress. While heroin use is still high across the board, in High Point, overdoses are down this year from last. In Greensboro, overall overdose numbers are up this year, but less people are dying from an overdose. They credit Narcan for that.
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