Hamilton County heroin deaths increased 183 percent from 2005 to 2014, putting it at the forefront of the epidemic gripping much of America. Increased supply and decreased prices are boosting heroin use throughout a large number of demographics. The drug has a dependence rate of 23 percent for first-time users, fueling its presence in just about every community in Southwest Ohio.
Heroin's proliferation has gotten the attention of local police and prosecutors, including federal agents.
The U.S. Attorney for Southern Ohio recently conducted a special task force meeting on heroin trafficking, which has displaced crack cocaine as the most problematic drug in this region. Federal agents are focusing their efforts on drug dealers.
"We are essentially going to treat each overdose scene like a crime scene and try to trace it back to the dealer that caused that overdose," said Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for Southern Ohio.
Severe Punishment For Those Arrested
Everyone in Ohio who is charged with possession or trafficking faces a real threat of maximum punishment under federal and state laws. Even if you were arrested with heroin for personal use, prosecutors see you as a root of the problem - not someone who may be struggling with addiction.
Those arrested with larger amounts of heroin not only face severe trafficking charges, but potential manslaughter charges if their product can be traced to overdose victims.
It is crucial to begin working with a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling drug crimes. Your freedom and future may depend on the experience and skill of your lawyer.