More drug busts mean higher pill prices, bolder dealers - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

More drug busts mean higher pill prices, bolder dealers

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GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. -

Greenup County Sheriff Keith Cooper showed us a bag of oxycodone pills worth $22,000.  It came as part of a larger ongoing investigation.

He also shows us pictures from a minor pill bust that happened as a result of a routine traffic stop.

The point is, it's everywhere.

"As long as there's a need for pills, there'll be a problem," says Deputy Larry Pancake.

"I think it should start with the kids," says mother, Margarita White, of Wurtland. "The kids should be aware of it."

White says busting dealers is good, but education is better.

Deputies say they've dealt with promising young people who have gotten hooked.

Ms. White tells us she worries about her son, Tyler, who is two years old, and autistic.

She worries because Tyler is growing up very close to bad influences.

"When he gets older, it could be more likely that he could succumb to peer pressure," says Ms. White. "With other kids around him and his environment."

Deputies say they're trying to round up every drug dealer in the county, and call their problem solved.

Their approach is more complicated than that.

They're trying to scare dealers into doing business elsewhere.

"All we can do is make it harder and harder on people who sell them, people who give them to people," says Deputy Pancake.

Deputy Pancake adds that shaking up the trade doesn't mean dealers will just go away.  In fact, it makes doing business in Greenup more enticing for the boldest criminals.

Deputies say, as they harass dealers into leaving, pill prices go up locally and there's always an out-of-towner willing to take a bigger risk for a bigger reward.