News Release
Date: September 27, 2011
Contact: Robert J. Hanson
Number: 314-538-4670

Heroin Epidemic Leads to Largest DEA Operation Against Deadly Drug

SEP 27 – ST. LOUIS, MO – The Drug Enforcement Administration, in collaboration with 32 other Law Enforcement Agencies, conducted an aggressive and unprecedented heroin enforcement operation resulting in the arrest of 53 individuals. DEA Special Agent in Charge Harry S. Sommers of the St. Louis Field Division announced the arrests, which mark the first phase of the bi-state partnership between law enforcement agencies targeting not just street level heroin dealers but also those responsible for trafficking heroin in and around St. Louis.

Since July, DEA and their law enforcement counterparts have coordinated efforts, which included 165 undercover purchases of heroin, in order to respond to the increase in heroin-related overdoses and deaths, as well as the overwhelming increase of heroin use in suburban and rural areas. Within the city of St. Louis, alone, there have been 57 heroin related deaths since the beginning of this year. It is the largest single strike against heroin in St. Louis law enforcement history.

The widespread arrests ranging from southern Illinois to Franklin and Lincoln County, MO, was a deliberate act intended to send a clear message to heroin violators. DEA and their law enforcement partners will not tolerate heroin use, abuse and trafficking. SAC Sommers stated: “Even after today, we will continue to target with vigor those using and bringing heroin into our communities. We are working to save lives and keep communities safe.