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Officers from the 109th Precinct made a massive heroin bust last week in Whitestone, recovering nearly 12 pounds of the uncut product that would fetch an estimated $2 million on the street, police said.
On Friday, officers from the precinct’s Day Tour Anti-Crime Team responded to a 911 call of a suspicious man near the corner of 17th Avenue and Clintonville Street, which is between two neighborhood schools: St. Luke School, where children from pre-kindergarten to eighth-grade attend classes, and JHS 194, which houses Grades 6 through 8.
When the city’s Finest arrived on the scene, they stopped the man in question and found a small bag of heroin in his possession, according to a police source.
The officers then brought in a drug-sniffing dog, which got what officers call a “hit” on the man’s vehicle, prompting the 109th to obtain a search warrant for the car, police said.
After executing the warrant, the officers recovered several bricks of uncut heroin from the car weighing 11.75 pounds, or 5.3 kilograms, police said.
Uncut heroin is pure, according to another police source who has since retired from the NYPD, and it is not what is sold on the streets.
Instead, drug dealers dilute the product with other substances — brown sugar is a common way to cut heroin — in order to increase the amount of product they have stockpiled, but also to keep their customers addicted to the drug, the police source said.
The amount of heroin recovered from the streets of Whitestone last week is worth between $250,000 to $300,000 in its raw form, but when cut and repackaged for street sale would be worth $2 million, according to police.
Heroin use in more suburban communities is on the rise, according to Dr. Theodore Cicero, of Washington University in Missouri, due to a crackdown in prescription painkiller abuse.
In the years leading up to 2010, communities not typically associated with heroin use were the site of increasing abuse of prescriptive painkillers like Oxycodone, which contain opiates similar to those found in heroin, Cicero said in a survey published over the summer in the New England Journal of Medicine.
After drug companies started making the pills harder to abuse, many of the same addicts turned to heroin as a cheaper and more readily-available alternative.
In September, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency busted a heroin mill in the basement of a Richmond Hill home that contained $20 million worth of the drug.
All the heroin consumed in the United States comes from one of three sources: Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and Latin America, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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