GA heroin bust is historic - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

GA heroin bust is historic

Agents make the largest heroin bust in Georgia history Thursday.

They seized 86 pounds of the drug and two million dollars in cash.

South Georgia drug agents say heroin is a fast growing drug problem, and it's being driven by the economy. 

Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Agents say the skyrocketing price of prescription pills has brought heroin is back with a vengeance. 

And agents say this huge drug bust in Atlanta has ties back to drug busts to Albany and Lee County.

A heroin drug bust in December in Lee County was just one of the recent heroin busts in South Georgia that tied into seizures of the drug in Atlanta.

"We did a joint operation with Lee County and that had ties back to Chicago.  We've done some more that have ties back into New England.  So that's what the federal government, the DEA, has followed up on, is where these ties.  They are beyond our borders. Way out of our reach," said Major Bill Berry, ADDU Commander.

These are rocks of heroin, being manufactured and imported to Georgia. Popular back in the 1970-s, the drug has not seen for decades.

Prescription pills like oxycotone are so popular, the demand has grown and with it the price. Sometimes 40 dollars a pill on the streets. Drug agents say that has addicts switching to heroin.

"The prices on pain pills have gotten so outrageous that heroin is a cheap alternative.  And that's what they are reverting to," said Berry

South Georgia drug agents say they see the heroin trade across the state growing, because of the pain pill epidemic.

"I'm afraid so.  Pills, as I've said over and over, are a main problem in the community.  Not just Albany, and this is an alternative.  When you can't afford this, you revert to something else," said Berry.

And that something else for addicts now is heroin and it's a fast growing drug issue across the Peach State.

Three men were arrested as part of the Atlanta bust, the largest heroin bust in Georgia history and the DEA says they have ties back to a major Mexican drug cartel. 

The Feds say heroin trafficking from Mexico to Georgia is growing fast and South Georgia drug agents say they are seeing it here already as well.

The DEA says heroin seizures have doubled from 2008 to 2010, and he says he expects it to double again by the end of the year.

Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.

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