Heroin trafficking topic at state capitol

Published: Nov. 23, 2015 at 3:38 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Heroin trafficking is going to be a hot topic at the Arizona State Capitol on Monday.

According to the Justice Department, more than 8,200 Americans died from heroin overdoses in 2013.  More than 160,000 people tried it for the first time and 20,000 of those were children between the ages of 12 and 17.

Tucson News Now talked to a local mother who knows the dangers of heroin all too well.

"I think the worst thing I ever saw was I had knocked on the bathroom door and didn't know he was in there. He was injecting. It literally stopped my heart," Janice Nargi said.

Nargi's son was just 15 when she caught him mainlining black tar heroin. He said he started using marijuana first and then turned to stronger drugs.

"It's very dangerous and very addictive. The first time you use it, you're pretty much hooked," Nargi said.

She fears other teens will get hooked if something is not done. Local law enforcement have noticed an increase in heroin trafficking. They are trying to get the government involved to help them combat the problem.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels is among the Arizona officials taking their concerns about the drug to the Arizona State Capitol.

"It starts at the border. We've got to have a secure border. Do everything we can within reason to secure our border because I don't think that's being done right now," Sheriff Dannels said.

Dannels says he wants to bring local, state and federal law enforcement all together to focus efforts on stopping international cartels.

"Our hopes are what they hear tomorrow from different leaders that are going to be speaking, they look at their policy, their programs, their efforts and say, can we do a better job and the answer is hopefully yes," Sheriff Dannels said.

Nargi has started a foundation called "There's no Hero in Heroin." She is trying to raise awareness about the dangers of the drug in our community. She plans to be at the hearing on Monday.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are among those who are set to testify on border drug trafficking at a field hearing of a U.S. Senate committee in Phoenix on Monday.  Senator John McCain will be there as well.

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