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Malone police chief sees rise in heroin use

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MALONE - Heroin use is on the rise in northern Franklin County, and it’s not going to go away any time soon, Malone’s police chief told the village board this week.

Four of the 10 people arrested by village police in a recent two-county drug roundup were charged with possessing and selling heroin. In most of those cases, the people involved had young children in their homes, Chief Chris Premo said.

Of the 24 other people arrested in the sweep that netted suspects in Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and across Essex County, only one is facing charges related to heroin.

Heroin also played a role in the recent knifepoint robbery at the Maplefield’s store in the village, Mr. Premo said. In the three hours between the robbery and the arrest, the suspect purchased and used the drug, he said.

“It’s not an urban problem any more. It’s a rural problem,” Mr. Premo told the board.

Several board members voiced concern about the uptick in heroin use in the area, and Mr. Premo said law enforcement officials would continue to their efforts to attack the problem. But he cautioned that efforts to root out the drug from the community were unlikely to eradicate it completely.

“Once heroin gets into your community, it’s hard to get rid of it,” he said.

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