13News Investigation: Large number of drug cases go ignored - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

13News Investigation: Large number of drug cases go ignored

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LOGAN, West Virginia -

This summer, Logan's Church of the Nazarene had a back door smashed in by burglars. Inside, the only thing that was stolen was $30 from an offering plate. 

"It's amazing how desperate some people can get," said Pastor Larry Cale "We'll probably never find them but I hope they get their lives squared away."

Burglary is not a crime that is unique to the town of Logan. Neither is drug use. The two, police often say, go hand in hand.

On the narrow downtown streets of Logan the drug trade is no secret. 

"There is drug deals every day," said Amy Adkins, employee over at Nu Era Bakery in downtown Logan. "There are times that I am very scared to walk across that street."

Adkins works across the street from an area known for drug traffic and prostitution. 

Using hidden cameras, a 13News crew recorded self described drug dealers explaining how to get, "coke, heroin or anything else."

Logan Police Chief E.K. Harper said his office has been arresting drug dealers and prostitutes but once they get to court, the cases are dismissed.

"I'd say 75 percent [of the cases are dismissed], if not higher," said Chief Harper.

Harper said it is the county court system that finds it cheaper to dismiss cases instead of keeping offenders behind bars. 

"If my guys arrest you and nothing happens to you, why shouldn't you keep doing it," said Harper. "At the worst, you're inconvenienced with a day or two in court."

The problem is bad enough for Adkins to recognize. The Logan High School graduate has watched her community crumble.

"They know that there's nothing going to be done to them past a smack on the wrist. It worries me and yes, I would love to leave Logan."