The day after a series of raids to take down an OxyContin drug ring in Spokane, police were out targeting heroin dealers early Friday morning.
Investigators said the drug ring that was busted by a DEA task force Thursday brought thousands of OxyContin pills to our area. Now that the pill pipeline has been shutdown between Spokane and Los Angeles, there is concern as to whether or not those addicts will turn to heroin to get their fix, and thus the police is trying to get as much of the drugs off the street as possible.
That led to the Spokane Police Department SWAT Team executing search warrants at Second and Fiske and Fourth and Altamont Friday morning.
In addition to turning to other illicit drugs for their fix, police are concerned addicts will start trying to rob area pharmacies to get the drugs they need. Spokane police said that too often addicts turn to property crime, car prowling and burglaries to support their habits.
"There is an association between property crimes and drugs no doubt; it's our job to interdict that and we can only do that with the help of our citizens," Detective Doug Orr with the Spokane Police Department said.
In fact that's how the department's Special Investigations Unit learned about the home raided at Second and Fiske Friday. Detectives had to make several drug buys at the house before having enough evidence to get a search warrant.
"Out of those search warrants one person was arrested, charged with possession of a controlled substance and we collected at two residences a small amounts of heroin," Orr said.
On numerous occasions, local first responders have responded to heroin overdoses across the city. In fact, police said earlier Friday morning that their preliminary investigation into the discovery of a body found near the intersection of Helena Street and Pacific Avenue in East Central Spokane was the result of a drug overdose.
Heroin and OxyContin are similar in nature as they are both opiods, though OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opiod.
Now that the drug ring that was allegedly delivering OxyContin to people in Spokane has gone away, police are worried drug addicts will turn to heroin, arguably a much deadlier replacement drug.
"We would certainly be very interested in getting someone the help they need. If they are going to associate though their heroin with criminal activity we're going to make good on the chief's promise to place a focus on those individuals who are causing the most detriment to our community," Orr said.