Cherokee's New Concern: Heroin
For the first time, the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad arrested and charged two men with trafficking in heroin.
In recent years, authorities have ramped up efforts to tackle prescription drug abuse in Georgia. But local officials said suburbs like Cherokee have a new problem on their hands.
It's heroin, a drug "previously known as an urban drug," said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.
Today, Baker announced a first. Agents with the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad on Tuesday arrested and charged two men with trafficking in heroin in Holly Springs.
Richard Chad Edwards, 31, of Woodstock, was charged with two counts of sale of heroin, trafficking heroin, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine. Brandon Lamar Ray, 22, of Acworth, was charged with trafficking heroin, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and possession of heroin.
"Sales were generally limited to sections of downtown Atlanta," Baker said. "The disturbing trend of ... heroin use and sales in the suburbs is being recognized nationally as a significant drug trend of concern."
Cmdr. Phil Price said the crackdown on prescription drugs and changes in the formula of prescription pain killers "has pushed users into the purchase of heroin." At least that's what people arrested in recent months have told the agency.
"Heroin has a similar high to Oxycontin," he said, "and is easily injected."