State police says heroin arrests are up sharply

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(Host) The head of the State Police says the number of heroin arrests in Vermont has doubled. Speaking Thursday night on VPR’s Switchboard Colonel Thomas Powlovich said a new drug enforcement effort called “HEAT” is already producing results.

(Powlovich) “Over the last year there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of heroin arrests. Heroin arrests are making about 49% of all drug arrests, which is an increase of about 100% over the year before. And just since the HEAT team has been working, since about the first of July, we’ve seen a dramatic number of arrests that they’ve made and also cases that they’re about to make.”

(Host) The HEAT team targets local drug dealers. Police say it compliments the work of the Vermont Drug Task Force which goes after larger dealers who are bringing drugs into Vermont.

Powlovich says he also wants to add more members to the task force.

(Powlovich) “Our goal is to increase the size of the Vermont drug task force. We’re trying to get a new federal program to fund an additional five officers to increase our numbers.”

(Host) Powlovich says dealers are bringing larger shipments of drugs into Vermont. He says not only heroin, but marijuana seizures have turned up larger quantities of drugs than in the past.

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