Law enforcement authorities in East Baton Rouge Parish have recently stepped up their efforts to enforce drug laws in the area, targeting both those they claim are involved in drug trafficking as well as those charged with drug possession. Recent harsh enforcement efforts have focused both on cocaine and heroin and on various synthetic drugs.
In the last 30 days, federal investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have filed criminal charges against no less than 13 persons who they say were involved in an organization selling synthetic drugs in the area, accusing them also of drug connected murder. They also lodged heroin trafficking charges against two men claimed to be operating in New Orleans.
Also in October, local law enforcement officers from a number of agencies staged a raid at East Blvd Grocery. In the course of the search, they claim to have found 100 pounds of a substance believed to be synthetic marijuana, seizing it, as well as cash totaling $21,000 found on the premises. Arrests were previously made, earlier in the year at another local store accused of involvement in distributing synthetic marijuana.
Local police have told the media that they view heroin and cocaine, as well as synthetic drugs to be their highest priority in their enforcement efforts. They claim that cocaine, in particular, is frequently associated with various violent crimes. One spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department said that there has been an increased use of both synthetic marijuana and heroin in the local area recently. He added that police are also trying to combat purported misuse of pharmaceutical or prescription drugs.
He noted that this year a number of persons appear to have died from overdoses of heroin, despite the fact that it seemed, for a time, that heroin use had largely disappeared or at least been greatly reduced.
Source: NOLA.com, “Officials battle cocaine, synthetic drugs in Baton Rouge,” Lauren McGaughy, November 12, 2012.