An investigation started by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office led to the indictments of nine suspected drug dealers in Annapolis, authorities said.
Calvert County detectives investigating an increase in heroin overdoses learned heroin users in the county were buying in Annapolis.
"We noticed that we were seeing some heroin overdoses that actually occurred up in Anne Arundel County, in Annapolis, and they were Calvert County citizens," Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans said. "So we knew that they were getting the drugs there and using them and dying."
Annapolis police identified two groups responsible for most of the heroin sold in the state capital, according to the sheriff’s office.
Over more than seven months, undercover detectives bought heroin more than 50 times, seizing more than 100 grams, according to the sheriff’s office.
Annapolis and Anne Arundel County police began making arrests early Tuesday morning, serving several search warrants. Five adults and two juveniles were arrested. More arrests are expected in the coming days.
Maryland State Police also assisted the investigation.
Seven people have died from heroin overdoses in Calvert County this year, the sheriff’s office said, and many thefts and burglaries in the county are related to heroin.
Annapolis had six fatal overdoses due to heroin last year and one this year, the Associated Press reported. There also have been 22 non-fatal overdoses this year. One night in April, five people overdosed -- two collapsing at a pharmacy and three by a community pool.
"We believe, preliminarily, that they were supplied by one of our indicted drug distributors," Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop said.
Detectives linked nine Anne Arundel County overdoses to the indicted suspects, Annapolis police said.
"And in Anne Arundel County, right now, we've had 172 heroin and other opioid overdoses this calendar year alone," Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis said. Of those 172 heroin overdoses, 22 have proven fatal."