Barrow County narcotics investigators last Friday night made their biggest heroin bust in more than a decade. They arrested a Snellville drug dealer a little before midnight in the parking lot of a Bethlehem business and recovered 8 grams of heroin. That was enough for up to 160 single doses with a street value of about $3,000, according to the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.
Evan Richard Newby, 27, of 3815 Mink Livsey Road, allegedly sold heroin and prescription hydrocodone to an undercover investigator.
His was the 12th drug trafficking arrest by the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office in the past six months. Officers from the Winder Police Department assisted in the arrest.
Newby was charged with trafficking in heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of morphine with the intent to distribute, sale of hydrocodone, and two counts of the sale of heroin.
According to records obtained from the sheriff’s office, a dozen alleged drug traffickers have been arrested in the past six months.
“As far as a drug problem in Barrow County, definitely, we have one,” said Sheriff Jud Smith in an interview this week.
He said he has asked his investigators to look into the problem actively and to attack it aggressively.
“Our narcotics unit has tightened up on the local drug trade,” Smith said. “We’re going for the street-level drug dealer and also trying to attack the bigger drug dealers that are bringing in large quantities of the stuff.”
Deputy Matt Guthas, a spokesman for the department, said there has been a notable increase in drug arrests over the past year or so, with the sheriff’s office making about 200 undercover narcotics purchases during 2008 alone.
“The Narcotics Unit is working with numerous surrounding agencies to combat the sale and use of illegal drugs,” Guthas said.
He said there also has been a “marked increase” in the illegal sale of prescription medications, including morphine. Smith agreed that prescription drugs are the single greatest drug problem in Barrow, calling it a “plague” that cuts across all economic boundaries, races and classes of people here.
“It is something that has evolved through the years,” Smith said. “I think we have evolved from marijuana to crack to methamphetamine to, now, prescription drugs.”
For more details on this story and other local crime news, see the March 18 issue of the Barrow Journal.
What the h** are you 2 guys talking about ohhhhh im sorry you must do drugs or sale them my bad. The Sheriff has done great things since he has been in office. I dont get people like you all you do is gripe and complain about someone else doing wrong. I by no means am perfect but I know when to shout out good job and keep it up. Get a life