Heroin on your streets: What's being done about it? - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Heroin on your streets: What's being done about it?

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The number of people dying from heroin in Cuyahoga County is soaring, so we're asking tough questions about how the Cleveland Narcotics Unit operates.

We wanted to know what's really being done to fight heroin, so we requested numbers for the city narcotics unit, and we went to the man in charge.

Heroin now is often taking the place of crack.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner predicts, countywide this year, 190-199 heroin deaths. That number--nearly double from 2011.

For the first half of the year, we saw heroin arrests for the Cleveland Narcotics Unit behind the pace for recent years.

But Commander Gary Gingell says, "Final numbers will be at least what they were last year with the help of federal task forces. For that very reason they're very good. They have the resources of the federal government, the FBI." 

We also reviewed a schedule for the unit. Lots of investigators assigned day shifts. Who's fighting dealers at night?

The commander says, if not the task forces, gang investigators.

"They're looking at gun violence and a tie to drugs. You know gun violence and drugs go together," added the Commander.

And about those deaths -- Cleveland police are now investigating overdoses to get to more dealers.

In 2010 ,the narcotics unit led an investigation taking down a ring with 16 kilos of heroin. A massive amount.

The large bust was rare, but no question there is plenty more out there.

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