State and federal prosecutors are working together to fight a rise in heroin trafficking. Jack Riley is a special agent in charge of the field division of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Chicago. He tells WNIJ, communities like DeKalb and Rockford aren't immune to the spread of the drug, especially its use among teens. He adds it’s not just a problem in the city of Chicago:
"This is truly a regional problem. Traditionally heroin and its abuse has kind of gone in cycles, but I think with the cheaper, more potent Mexican-supplied heroin here in the Midwest, it's going to be something fighting for years to come.” - Jack Riley, DEA special agent, Chicago
Riley says in his region, federal investigations targeting heroin dealers are up about 20% in the past 2 years. Riley also says heroin seizures are up about 50% in the past 4 years. A summit on heroin use among teens was held last night in Naperville. In addition to the drug being cheaper nowadays, Riley says there is a false perception that is it less dangerous because it can be taken without needles.