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Ocean City flooded with heroin trafficking

When Maryland law enforcement sees an increase in a particular sort of crime -- heroin trafficking for example -- they attempt to do something about it. The danger in a big drug round up is that an innocent person could be roped in simply because of proximity, circumstances or dumb luck.

It was recently reported that a major heroin drug crackdown has resulted in the indictment of 23 people in Ocean City for heroin possession or trafficking. More than 100 bags of heroin were seized and drug distribution charges should follow for those arrested.

By the numbers:

  • There has been a 550 percent increase in heroin cases in Ocean City compared to the same time last year.
  • In 2007 there were 785 Ocean City drug arrests (for heroin and other drugs).
  • In 2011 there were 1,166 drug arrests in Ocean City.

The 23 people indicted in the latest crackdown included people from Ocean City and Berlin. Most of them will face felony drug charges. Seventeen are in police custody and arrest warrants have been issued for the other men and women. Their bonds have been set relatively high at between $100,000 and $300,000 which seems to indicate that authorities consider these individuals to be flight risks.

While making the arrests in the heroin sweep, the police were at one residence when two individuals showed up at the home. The police claim that the 18-year-old and 37-year-old men were there to purchase drugs. It would seem that it is also likely that they stopped by to visit, watch a football game or some other purely social reason.

It is incidents like that which point out the possibility of innocent people getting swept up when law enforcement officers get a bit too enthusiastic. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Ocean City dealing with 'overwhelming increase' in heroin cases," Kevin Rector, Dec. 4, 2012

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