Opinion

After pill ring bust, watch out for heroin

An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va. — Local and federal law enforcement agencies pulled off quite a coup this week, breaking up a major prescription pill distribution ring. They deserve high praise.

But they are well aware of the potential for their efforts to result in a very, very unpleasant side effect – an increase in heroin trafficking in our area.

Fifteen people, all of them local residents, have been indicted as a result of an investigation that began in 2012. Charges against them include illegal sale of prescription pain pills, cocaine and other drugs.

With luck, investigators will be able to use the charges as leverage to make more arrests, going right to the sources of the illegal drugs allegedly trafficked by the 15 local people.

Again, however, police and prosecutors battling illegal drugs are painfully aware of the self-sustaining and vicious-cycle natures of the enemy.

Too often, breaking up one illegal drug ring merely creates an opportunity for other pushers to step in and fill the void…

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