Since the federal, state and local investigation called Operation Black Poppy began, officials have tracked three major cells of heroin distribution in South Carolina based in the Midlands, Myrtle Beach and Charleston areas. Thursday, at South Carolina State Law Enforcement headquarters, the agencies involved announced 18 arrests and a stop to the flow of $5.5 million in heroin plus other drugs and weapons.
DEA Special Agent in Charge William Douglas shared the announcement with other top officials in South Carolina, including Attorney General Henry McMaster and SLED Director Reggie Lloyd.
Perhaps most alarming, says Heaton, is that this group’s heroin reached into residential areas and neighborhoods throughout the state.
Heroin is particulary potent and habit-forming, officials assert. The investigation revealed that this heroin is responsible for 12 overdoses and six deaths in the Charleston area.