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Heroin trade rises in region

Monday, Mar. 24 | By Julie Taylor
In 2013, the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office recorded seven cases of heroin overdoses. Two of those incidents resulted in death.

Over the course of last year, the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force confiscated 205 grams of heroin, compared to 3 grams in 2012, according to a press release. The task force comprises law officers from several agencies in the region. Because drug trade does not typically respect jurisdictional boundaries, the task force lets police take on illegal drugs as a more unified front.

"In 2013, the BRNGTF seized over $1.2 million in illegal narcotics and initiated 265 investigations involving drugs, gangs and other criminal activity,” according to the release.

Last year, the task force executed 37 search warrants and facilitated 99 undercover drug purchases.

"The drugs of choice in our area of responsibility is heroin, marijuana and prescription medications," the release said.

In 2013, the task force seized $82,278 compared to $31,609 the prior year. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the types of drugs seen in Fauquier are consistent with national trends.

"Most used to consider heroin as a big city urban problem but it became a recognized suburban problem in NOVA about 10 years ago and it's now a rural problem," said Lt. James Hartman of the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office.

He said the FCSO is working closely with neighboring counties to address the issue.

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