Fri, 24 Feb 2012 04:00:00 GMT — Over the years, Missouri became known as the meth capital of the country. Wednesday we told you about an associated press survey that revealed Missouri regained the top spot for meth lab busts. While it's still extremely popular in mid-Missouri, law enforcement said there is a new drug of choice gripping the show-me state, especially in Jefferson City, heroin. "We're not going to tolerate heroin in our town," Jefferson City Police Sergeant Joseph Matherne said. You've heard news story after news story, bust after bust, and one arrest after another, all dealing with heroin. "We've been all over town, we've been east, north, south and west of town and found it in all areas," Matherne said. Sgt. Matherne is in charge of the Community Action Team for the Jefferson City Police Department. The team responds to every overdose in the city, and investigates in an effort to find the supplier. "We've become more aggressive in the enforcement of heroin, we're making arrests to try and send a message to dealers,â?? Matherne said. Sgt. Matherne let KRCG get a first hand look at how he's fighting the problem. KRCG's Meghan Lane rode along with him as he patrolled the city streets. He said the biggest problem with cracking down on the opiate drug is finding it. "The difficulty is finding it is it's just so small,â?? Matherne said. â??I compare it to a small pebble and they wrap them in plastic baggies and they're just, they can hide them anywhere, in a vehicle, on their person, that you just can't find it." Around town, one dose of heroin is known as a shoe, button, boy or "h". Law enforcement said it's pretty cheap, a tenth of a gram is going for about $20-30 in the Capital City. "We're finding that the suppliers are getting such a vast amount of heroin that they're not required to cut it down quite as much, so the purity levels are higher than they were in the past," Matherne said. The sergeant said when it comes to heroin addiction, there's no discrimination. "That's one thing about heroin, it has seemed to attack all classes, all levels and all ages,â?? Matherne said. In all of 2011, there were 13 reported heroin overdoses in the Capital City. As of Thursday, there already had been 12 reported since January 1st, so far none have been fatal this year. If you have information that could help law enforcement and their crack down on heroin or any other crime, you can anonymously report it to crime stoppers at 659-tips.
KRCG offers coverage of news, sports, weather and local events in the Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri area, including the communities of New Bloomfield, Shaw, Boonville, Ashland, Hallsville, Sturgeon, Centralia, Mexico, Auxvasse, Fulton, California, Tipton, Eldon, Wardsville, Westphalia and Sedalia, Missouri.