Waukesha County sees spike in heroin deaths

CREATED May 22, 2014

  • Print
  • Play

It's not just a concern it's an epidemic. Just ask Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel.

"May has been a terrible month so far." 
 
Waukesha County is dealing with a shocking number of suspected heroin deaths just within the last 30 days.
 
"We have had what looks looks like half a dozen people who have been dying of accidental drug overdoses," said Schimel.
 
But it's not just his office that is on the front lines of this problem. The Waukesha County Sheriff's Office is also seeing more and more people dying or destroying their lives with heroin, opiates and prescription pain killers 
 
"There has been a spike with the heroin overdoses and opiate overdoses," said Waukesha County Sheriff's Captain Frank McElderry.
 
Captain McElderry tells TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Charles Benson investigators are trying to find out what's behind the spike. Is it possible a new dealer is delivering a more potent or higher dosage?
 
McElderry: And the person that is addicted to the drug might end up using that higher dosage inadvertently and that's where these fatal overdose tend to stem from.
Benson: So do you know if that's happening or is that what you are investigating.
McElderry: That's what we are looking into. 
 
More deaths means more prosecutions and the number is staggering. The D-A's office goes after not just dealers but anyone who delivers drugs that kill.
 
"We can charge you with first degree reckless homicide, said Schimel, "We've got over 25 of those cases pending right now in our office."
 
Schimel says most of the young people dying were goods kids with good futures. His message to parents "they've got to talk to their kids when they're young. If you wait until they are 14-years old you might be waiting to late."
 
In the City of Waukesha, police are also investigating seven overdoses this month, most are suspected heroin cases.