Another Bust in Heroin Epidemic - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Another Bust in Heroin Epidemic

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HARBESON, Del. - It was just the latest in a series of large heroin busts in Sussex County, and it is part of what many community members are calling an epidemic. The Delaware State Police Sussex County Drug Task Force arrested 20-year old Dustin Drew, after the culmination of a two month investigation into illegal drugs being sold from his home on the 28,000 block of Woodcrest Drive in Harbeson.

The bust took place on July 7, at approximately 6:05a.m., and lead to the discovery of 961 bags of heroin stamped "Gucci."

Neighbor Dan Davis said that the community was well aware that there was "suspicious activity" at that home. He received a call about the bust early Tuesday morning.

"It rolled me right out of bed," he said. "I was kind of happy. I was very happy."

This bust follows an unrelated, and far larger one, announced last week by the Delaware State Police. That operation, called "Operation In The House", resulted in the netting of 35 suspects, for charges such as murder, home invasions, and wide-scale drug distribution in Southern and Central Delaware.

The murder charges date back to a January, 2014 double homicide, which lead to the death of two victims in a Harmon's Hill Road residence. The shooting occurred during a home invasion, done by six suspects. This was the first of at least five home invasions done by the group in 2014, according to the Delaware State Police.

DSP told WBOC that the group was targeting homes, where there was drug activity taking place inside.

So far, police have apprehended 31 of the 35 suspects, facing charges from the operation. Five out of the six people facing murder charges have been caught, while one, based out of Philadelphia is still on the run.

The Delaware State Police has referred to those arrested as being part of an "Organized Criminal Enterprise."

A larger Addiction:

In Georgetown, Jim Martin knows addiction. Martin struggled with addiction for years, and now has made a name for himself in Sussex County, as an advocate against the drug. He is the Chairman for the newly formed Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition, a group combating addiction.

"I'm literally out of breath right now," he said. "More than ever I've been. Because it seems like it's coming from all directions. It's women, it's children, it's older people, it's younger people."

Martin, who comes face to face with this addiction on a daily basis, described for WBOC what the drug does to a person's life.

"It just completely decimates it," he said. "Destruction. Total destruction of a person's life. And also the people that are around that person trying to love that person."

This is a sentiment shared by recovering addict Brandon Sharpe of Georgetown. Sharpe said he went to a good university, playing for the basketball team, before it all fell apart due to his addiction.

"Heroin played a significant role in my life," he said. "It took me from being a productive member of society all the way to the bottom. Almost being homeless. I lost a lot of family members. Lost a lot of trust."

Sharpe has now been clean for nine months, but he said the problem appears to be getting worse in his community.

"Just this week alone I've lost - or gotten word about - three people that were lost in the area. From the Milford area all the way down to Seaford."

The problem goes far beyond just Delaware. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control came out on Tuesday, showing that overdoses nationwide quadrupled in between 2002 and 2013.

"I have a four year old now," said Sharpe. "And I just couldn't imagine her living without her father. If she had to come to my funeral."

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