PKG | Two 4State Counties: Same Name + Heroin Problem
FREDERICK COUNTY, Va. - Two counties in the four-state area not only share the same name, but the same heroin problem.
"We've known that the majority of our heroin, for quite some time, is coming out of Baltimore, Md.," Lt. Wally Stotlemeyer, with the Northwest Virginia Drug Task Force (NVDTF) explained. "By we, I mean our North End Office, which includes Frederick County, Clarke County and the city of Winchester."
Drug task force agents in both Frederick County, Va. and Frederick County. Md. said heroin trafficking is particularly bad for both of their jurisdictions, largely due to their location. Baltimore is about 100 miles away from Frederick County, Va., and to get there, the fastest route takes traffickers straight through Frederick County, Md.
According to Stotlemeyer, until recently, tracking heroin traffickers across state lines provided even more of a challenge.
"We felt like as a small law enforcement agency, that we weren't getting the results that we thought we should be getting, based off of the information that we had, and were providing to outside sources."
At this time last year, drug task force agents working out of the NVDTF's North End Office said it used to take at least a week to get requested information back from Maryland agencies about drug related cases.
Today, that same process takes only a few hours.
"Just recently, we've begun collaborating and sharing information with a phenomenal group of law enforcement agents out of [Frederick County] Maryland," Stotlemeyer said.
The partnership also includes NVDTF agents out of Clarke County and the city of Winchester, and Maryland drug task force agents out of Hagerstown and Howard County.
"We have a great relationship with those folks over there now, and we are providing information to them that we may be getting about potential sources, potential source locations, even potential suppliers," Stotlemeyer said.
The partnership proves that not only do these two counties share the same name, they share the same message: heroin is not welcomed here.