Police stepping up efforts to catch heroin dealers

Residents in Cole County are on edge after three heroin overdoses in three days has left law enforcement no choice but to step up their hunt for people selling the drug.

On Tuesday, 25 year-old Jefferson City Darrin Woods of was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute after overdosing on heroin.

Down the street from where Darin Woods lived on Louis Circle, Kyle Puent said he found it disturbing that heroin was present in his neighborhood.

"Everybody around here is always using drugs," Puent said. "There's really nothing better to do. I don't do any of that stuff just because it's stupid to me. I don't do anything like that."

Puent's friend Brandon Weir said there aren't too many people he knows who don't know someone who has turned to hard drugs.

"My sister actually knew the person who overdosed," Weir said. "She said a lot of people she went to school with have turned to harder drugs."

Before this week, there were five overdoses in Cole County since August 2012.

The Cole County Sheriff said three overdoses in three days with two resulting in death is a big concern.

"The reason people are dying from it is because it's not a well-regulated drug," said Captain John Wheeler. "The same type of drug that you buy in St. Louis may not be as potent as what they bring in from, say, Kansas City."

Wheeler said his agency is being proactive about tracking down the source for heroin in mid-Missouri. He said each time there is an overdose, law enforcement will speak with the person who overdosed in a bid to find out where they purchased the heroin from.

Wheeler said although he hopes no more overdoses happen, the Cole County Sheriff will be working with other mid-Missouri law enforcement agencies to get heroin out of mid-Missouri.

"If you suspect illegal activity anywhere you live, you need to contact local law enforcement and let us deal with that problem," Wheeler said.