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Heroin in Escambia County

It was first time the Escambia County Sheriff's Office has seen this "Black Tar" heroin.

A landscaping business on North Blue Angel Parkway is where deputies say they believe a heroin trafficking ring was going on.
Investigators seized black tar heroin, steroids, and prescription drugs... Valued to be about 45-thousand dollars.
Investigators say they believe the ring leader is James Mitchell, who owns the business and lives here.
   
"You think you buy a house and you wanna be in a safe neighborhood. Now to know that there are people selling drugs close by you, that's very scary,"

Investigators also seized weapons, jewelry, vehicles, and about 9-thousand dollars in cash.
The business is near dozens of homes.
Annetta Rosshirt did not know Mitchell well, but used to see him walking around the neighborhood.

"Ive seen that guy a lot of times pass by walking his dog back and forth he would even stop and say 'hey your garden looks nice.' it's very scary," said Mitchell.

Ray Salas had also seen Mitchell walking around, and would say hi to him every once in awhile.
He tries to keep a watchful eye out on anything suspicious going on, but did not suspect a heroin trafficking ring was happening nearby.

"The thing is just like that, bam all of a sudden it happens and now you're saying it shouldn't have happened but it's hard. It's very hard," said Salas.

Black tar heroin is one of three types of heroin.
It's mainly produced in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.
Sheriff David Morgan says there's been an uptick in heroin around the county, mainly because of its availability.

"I'm sure it's because of the high it produces. It's a strong narcotic, it's a very lucrative narcotic in the drug trade.... amounts it's sold for."


All three people could face a  minimum sentence of 25 years,
State attorney Bill Eddins says there won't be any plea deals and deputies are expecting to make more arrests.