Heroin In The Heartland: Small Police Departments Can’t Cope With Influx


Heroin is killing more and more people in rural America, NPR reports. One Mexican cartel sells low-cost heroin around rural towns in the Southwest and Midwest. Take Madison, Ne., population 2,500, a two-hour drive from Omaha. “The world’s gotten smaller,” says Police Chief Rod Waterbury. “If drugs can make it to Chicago, they can make it here.” In many parts of Nebraska, a dose of heroin sells for as little as $10. Over the past decade, 13 people in the state have died from the drug, Six of those deaths occurred last year.

“It used to be all meth, before that it was all coke,” says Madison County Attorney Joe Smith. “Now we’re seeing on a routine basis some heroin.” He cites the death from heroin of a man, 32, who told his mother, ‘Mom, this is such a small town. Everybody does drugs.'” Michael Sanders of the Drug Enforcement Administration says heroin has overwhelmed parts of neighboring Iowa. In Madison, Ne., Chief Waterbury says his four-man department doesn’t have the resources or the experience for long-term drug investigations.

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