published Monday, May 19th, 2014

Heroin is back in East Tennessee; pain pill crackdown has users switching

A Knoxville Police Department officer holds a needle seized during the arrest of a Chattanooga man on May 1 at a convenience story on N. Broadway. John Wilson, 46, drew the attention of people who saw him asleep in a car with a needle in his arm. He was charged with heroin possession.
A Knoxville Police Department officer holds a needle seized during the arrest of a Chattanooga man on May 1 at a convenience story on N. Broadway. John Wilson, 46, drew the attention of people who saw him asleep in a car with a needle in his arm. He was charged with heroin possession.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

As pain pills become more expensive and difficult to find for illicit use, the Knoxville area is seeing a large influx of heroin pumped in from 500 miles away, authorities say.

“Our informants and sources are telling us it is coming out of the Detroit-based area brought via vehicles or bus lines or rental cars. It’s fairly cheap for a user to get their hands on,” said Lt. Chris Bryant with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit.

“The intensity of the high they’re getting off it is one of the reasons they’re using it and they don’t have to buy a large amount to get their fix. A tenth of a gram of heroin will suffice them.”

View more at our news partner's website, knoxnews.com.

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