Peoria police are cracking down on heroin distributors

By Beau Ebenezer

July 20, 2012 Updated Jul 20, 2012 at 9:53 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- The Peoria Police department's task force is trying to put a stop to an increase in the use of heroin among teens.

Authorities say "operation blue horse" is aimed at cracking down on heroin distributors.

Earlier this week the grand jury indicted 51-year-old Lamar Burton and 53-year-old Shirley Williams on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than one-hundred grams of heroin over the past year.

Eight other defendants have been charged as a result of the investigation.

Officials say more teens are turning to heroin because of it's low cost.

"I'm troubled by the fact that it's even necessary. It's just, you know, it seems like I woke up one day and heroin was back on the scene. And it was something that was in the shadows years ago. And now we're seeing kids, ya know, decent students in high schools dying of heroine overdose," said Peoria Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard.

If convicted for possession of heroine with intent to distribute, the penalty is up to 20 years in prison and 30 years if the defendant has a prior drug related felony.

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