Heroin Public Health DEA Handout

The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and federal agents on June 7 announced the seizure of 80 pounds of heroin along the Benning Road Corridor in Southeast D.C.

According to police, four search warrants were served and 10 people were arrested in the operation. The heroin has an estimated street value of approximately $4 million, and is believed to have come from India, Africa and elsewhere to be trafficked across the U.S.

Combining efforts for the operation were District police, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The operation came as part of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program for the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area, an initiative aimed at aiding law enforcement agencies in pooling resources and information.

Despite the large heroin bust, D.C. Chief of Police said another drug-related threat looms large. At a hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said synthetic drugs have had a dangerous impact on the city.

“Because some of the…drugs have been selling at very low prices, they have become a drug of choice for many of the poorest individuals with substance abuse in the District, such as the homeless,” Lanier said in her testimony. “In 2015, the District of Columbia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to more than 3,800 calls for service and provided at least 3,500 transports related to suspected synthetic cannabinoid use.”