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Courts and Crime

Another big heroin bust in Northeast Ohio
Thirty-two street level dealers are charged with trafficking in Cleveland and Euclid as the heroin problem grows

Kevin Niedermier
Mugshots of the 32 people charged with dealing heroin in Cleveland and Euclid. It's the second big heroin bust in the area in recent weeks.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

Members of an eastside Cleveland gang and other individuals have been charged with heroin trafficking. Authorities say 32 people, many affiliated with the Lakeshore Boyz, are accused of selling the drug on the streets of Cleveland and Euclid.  As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, this is the second major heroin bust in Cleveland in recent weeks.

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Last month, nearly 100 people were arrested in Cleveland and charged with importing heroin from Chicago and Atlanta to sell here.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettlebach says the newest charges are against street-level dealers. Nineteen of the alleged Lakeshore Boyz and others are in custody and 13 are still at large.

Dettlebach says these arrests result from a year-long investigation by a federal, state and local task force. Heroin is a growing problem in Cuyahoga County, with overdoses on pace to kill more people this year than homicides. Dettlebach says the recent arrests are slowing epidemic, but the problem is far from over.

“Nobody up here is going to tell you a story about how we’re ending the heroin problem. I do think we’re making headway, I do think the FBI and police departments are doing a better job than ever of targeting the right people. But I have no doubt this group will be up here in the future talking about another group of people we are having to take off the streets.”

Dettlebach says the growing heroin problem is fueled by powerful Mexican drug cartels getting the highly addictive drug into the U.S. And, he says more people are turning to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to get than prescriptions opiates.
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