The Chestertown Police Department showed the confiscated goods seized in Monday’s heroin bust, “the largest heroin arrest ever in Kent County,” according to CPD Deputy Chief William Dwyer.
CPD Chief Adrian Baker said Wednesday that “we are pleased to have made this [seizure], because it’s a substantial amount that is now not available.”
Lee Allen Haas, 27, was arrested at approximately 8:30 p.m on Monday at 300 South Mill Street, where he lived for the past year and a half. The house is at the end of South Mill Street, just off the rail trail. There were two other people in the home at the time of the arrest.
Dwyer told the Spy that heroin is in resurgence because laws on access to prescription pain medications have tightened. He said that heroin is available state-wide and that it’s affordable.
“It’s cheaper to go out and buy that much heroin than it is to get pain medication,” Dwyer said.
The officers suspect that heroin in Chestertown comes from Philadelpia, Wilmington, and many places in Delaware, such as Smyrna and Middletown.
Baker said that “we want to use this opportunity to get this message out for people to be aware of what’s going on around them and to help eliminate this stuff. This is serious stuff. People literally die from it.” He also emphasized that the frequency of crimes committed by addicts who need money for heroin are substantial.
“I think that we can relate a lot of our burglaries, our thefts…to heroin,” he said.
The Kent County Narcotics Task Force conducted the arrest after a month-long investigation. The Task Force was assisted by the Chestertown Police Department S.R.U Team, Chestertown Police Department uniformed officers, MD State Poice uniformed officers of the Centreville Barrack, and the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force.
Dwyer added that “it’s not easy for you to stop heroin without going through rehab. You get extremely sick — sick enough that people commit other crimes to get money to buy heroin, just so they can stay well.”
Lieutenant Steve Elliott, Commander of the Criminal Enforcement Division and Supervisor of the Task Force said that one problem is that “the nearest methadone clinics are in Salisbury and Elkton.” Elliott supervises eight narcotics task forces on the Eastern Shore.
The quantity of heroin that Haas seemed equipped to distribute was standard, according to Dwyer. Haas dealt about a “log” a week, meaning ten bundles of between eleven to thirteen bags. Each bag sells for about twenty dollars. That puts the value of the seized heroin at just over $4,000.
Elliott said that heroin use is not as easy to spot now as it once was. Now heroin has evolved to a point where it is easier to consume. Not everybody injects it, contrary to the common conception. This heroin would probably have been snorted or smoked, rather than injected.
Haas was charged with the possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of heroin, possession of Oxycodone, possession of marijuana under ten grams, and the possession of paraphernalia. He is currently being held on $20,000 bond.
Anyone with any information on the illicit sale and/or possession of illegal narcotics is encouraged to contact the Kent County Task Force at 410-778-3744.