More than 50 arrested in two-day effort aimed at St. Charles County heroin trafficking


After yesterday’s news about four overdoses in an hour here in St.Louis, we have some really great news! A major crack down is happening right here in St. Louis on heroin trafficking!!! Mark Schlinkmann and Susan Weich for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have shared some great information about the heroin trafficking in our city!

Authorities announced on Wednesday the arrest of 54 people — most over a 30-hour period — as part of an aggressive push to combat St. Charles County’s growing heroin problem.

“We have an epidemic,” County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar said at a news conference with local and federal law enforcement officials. “What historically’s been seen as an urban drug is now very clearly right here in suburbia.”

Many were charged with heroin distribution. Drug possession and weapons charges also were filed. More charges are expected later, Lohmar said.

Most arrests were in St. Charles County, but some were elsewhere in the metro area. Authorities said 7.5 pounds of heroin and other opiates — amounting to 34,000 “dosage units” — were seized in the operation. So were 28 guns, 15 of them stolen.

The number of overdoses from heroin has been on the rise in St. Charles County, officials say. According to statistics provided by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, 243 people have died of a heroin overdose in the past eight years, 40 of them in 2014.

Statistics from the county’s ambulance district show a steady increase in the use of narcan, a drug used to counteract an overdose. The drug has been used nearly 2,000 times in the past six years and is projected to be used 450 times this year, officials say.

In 2013, a St. Charles couple, Whitney Patrick and Thomas Lucas, were the first ever charged in the county with manslaughter by distribution, he said. They sold the drug to Jemil Francis Ely, 23, who ovedosed and died.

Lohmar said he had been contacted by officials with the DEA and they formed a partnership with the county drug task force. In the current sweep, police began making arrests early Tuesday.

Lohmar called the initiative’s scope “unprecedented” in the county. He said many in the general public didn’t realize the heroin issue was as serious as it was. Authorities wanted “to make a big statement … that this is a problem.”

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If you are looking for help with your heroin addiction please contact Bridgeway Behavioral Health by visiting

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