BOSTON (CBS) – Earlier this year, the DEA’s New England field division unveiled an anonymous text-tip line to try to stop drug trafficking.
“DEA is a national organization and international so we have offices in Mexico; we have offices in South America; and our ultimate goal is to get the traffickers to damage these cartels,” says DEA Special Agent Anthony Pettigrew.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports
Pettigrew, the spokesman for the DEA in New England, adds that heroin is the current illicit drug of choice largely due to pricing on the street. While prescription pills range in cost between 50 cents and one dollar per milligram, it’s five to ten dollars a ‘bag’ for heroin.
Columbia is the starting point with the heroin then traveling through Mexico, into the U.S. and then up the east coast to New York City, branching out from there.
“Most of the supply that you have here in Massachusetts is usually smuggled in on in vehicles, smuggled in on persons through the highway system,” Pettigrew says.
DEA targets large-scale operations, knowing it’s a profit driven business.
“We try to hurt these organizations financially by seizing money and assets, which cannot be easily replaced by these drug trafficking groups,” Pettigrew says.
DEA also works local investigations up the chain to the bigger traffickers and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan welcomes the collaboration.
“Just weeks ago we made a very large arrest, eight people moving a great deal of heroin,” Ryan says.
Both Ryan and Pettigrew emphasize the importance of education in their multi-pronged fight against drug addiction.
The Herren Project does exactly that. Providing information, front and center, is former Celtics guard Chris Herren.
“We need to teach our kids that it all starts at day one and that’s drinking beers in the woods and skipping the Boys and Girls Clubs and hanging out with your friends at the house when the parents are working,” Herren says.
Herren knows all about it after battling addiction for years.
“Bottoms are a daily and, you know, it’s the moment when, you know, you make that decision that you’re going to live different and you’re going to put the work in,” he says.
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