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The Heroin Problem in Detroit

Local law enforcement authorities in Detroit have claimed that the heroin addiction in their state is getting worse. According to these authorities, Detroit has gained notoriety and is infamously known as the source of drugs that supply Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The Detroit pipeline is currently the focus of investigations by both federal and local law enforcement agencies and the Knox County District Attorney’s office. A meeting held recently between the federal drug officers and the US attorneys from Detroit resolved to crack down on all the players involved in the pipeline.

Sergeant Josh Shaffer of Knoxville Police Department observed that heroin addiction knows no social or age bounds. He recounted of how he once came across a grandmother with a needle in her arm. He further points out that the addiction traps both the poor, middle and affluent classes. No one is spared from this problem. Furthermore, addiction does not respect certain careers as it affects everyone from young athletes to reputable lawyers and doctors.

The problem in Knoxville began when the dealers realized that there was a growing demand for illegal prescription medication in the district. Dealers from Michigan responded to this demand and brought in the much needed opiate prescription pills. Sgt. Shaffer observes that these dealers used interstate 75 as their access road in and out of the area. The dealers operated like traveling salesmen who established make shift shops in motels along the highway, make their deliveries then move on to the next cities.

However, as the pills became more expensive, the dealers changed from pills to heroin. The supply of pills shrunk as a result of shutdowns of pill mills and clinics in Tennessee. The supply source in Florida was also shut down by federal drug authorities. Pharmaceuticals also produced pills that were harder to abuse. Soon both the dealers and the users discovered that heroin was a better substitute for the expensive opiates.

Knox District Attorney’s office and the KPD discovered that the heroin supplied through the Detroit Pipeline had its origin as far as Chicago. Despite the authorities’ success in arresting several key players in the drug ring, Chicago still remains to be a major source of heroin sold in Detroit and surrounding areas.

The Spokesman with the Knox County DA’s office, Sean McDermott observed that heroin sold in the County comes in through many different ways. One of these ways is through independent dealers who supply directly to their repeat customers. Some dealers use more sophisticated means to run this illegal business. For example, there are some who recruit family members and send them out to different counties where they set shop and sell heroin.

Sgt. Shaffer further observed that some of these dealers set up legitimate businesses like pubs, bars, restaurants and night clubs and use these as front offices for their heroin businesses. This model ensures that they don’t sell their products where they live. The trap houses used by drug dealers serve as a cover for them.

The war against drug dealers and drug peddlers in the state of Detroit is still on-going. Many arrests and prosecutions have been made. Major players in the drug game have been arrested and are currently serving time in county jails. Investigators hope to make more arrests and take out a big proportion of this killer drug from the streets.


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