ANNAPOLIS -- Nine individuals were indicted and three juveniles charged with dealing heroin in Annapolis on Tuesday.
"We're not going to accept illegal drug trade, we're not going to accept any sale of any narcotics here," said Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop as he announced the indictments and charges which he says have disrupted two different drug trafficking groups in the city.
It was a high number of heroin drug overdoes in Annapolis, Anne Arundel and Calvert counties that touched off the investigation more than seven months ago.
"We recognized this issue early last fall when two Calvert County residents were found deceased from heroin overdoses," says Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans.
Evans says he reached out to the Annapolis Police Department after tracing the flow of the drug from the city.
Annapolis police, the Calvert County Sheriff's office, Anne Arundel County police and Maryland State Police joined forces in the investigation.
Those indicted and charged with dealing heroin range in age from 17 to 27. Four others who have been indicted have not been identified and are being sought by police.
Those indicted include: Kelly Bowers, 24 of Annapolis, Richard Naylor, 21 of Arnold, Rishard Naylor, 22 of Annapolis, Sadie Phillips, 19 of Annapolis and Adrian Willliams, 27 of Annapolis.
Police say heroin is a growing problem in the region, particularly because its price, at about $13 a dose, is far cheaper than illegal prescription drugs like OxyContin which can cost as much as $85.
"We have approximately one overdose a day in our county, one a day, that's extraordinary," says Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, commending the three jurisdictions for their collaborative work that led to the indictments and charges.
"One person too many has died, we lost seven people in Calvert County this year from heroin overdoses," Evans says.
While police believe their work will put a crimp in heroin operations in the area, they concede that it won't stop the problem.
We're trying our very best to make an impact. We know that today is not in any way the end but just the beginning," Pristoop says.
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