Covering Kentucky

Jun 20, 2012 1:23 PM

Eastern Kentucky Police Concerned About Heroin

CORBIN, Ky. (AP) - Police in southeastern Kentucky say they are concerned after finding a different illegal drug in the area.

Knox County deputies seized heroin, drug paraphernalia, weapons and cash from a home last week in the Kay Jay community.

In nearby Laurel County, London Police Department Detective Jimmy Phelps told The Times-Tribune that although the drug isn't heard about much in rural areas, it seems to be becoming more popular. He says there's been an increase in complaints about heroin in southeastern Kentucky over the last several months.

"It's seldom heard here. You hear about it in the big cities, but we're hearing it's working its way down south," Phelps said. "In fact, there was a death from a heroin overdose in Pulaski County recently."

Phelps says prescription abuse remains the biggest drug problem in the area, followed by methamphetamine.

But the heroin bust, along with other drug activity, has law enforcement concerned about what might be coming.

Karen Kelly, director of anti-drug task force Operation UNITE, said it also has seized heroin in eastern Kentucky counties lately.

"We have gotten warnings from our counterparts in other states like Florida," Kelly said. "That's because I-75 is a drug pipeline from Florida to Michigan. Like Oxycontin and Oxycodone, heroin is an opiate, and it causes the same effect on the brain as those two other drugs that are common in this region. And it's cheaper, and that does concern us."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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