Northland Authorities Tackle Heroin Trafficking

By KBJR News 1

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 6:45 PM CDT

Cloquet, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Heroin use is on the rise in parts of the Northland. Five people were recently arrested on multiple counts related to the drug in Carlton County.

Police got word that heroin was being bought in the Twin Cities and then driven back up to the Cloquet area.

According to the criminal complaint, on April 9th Cloquet Police gave the Minnesota State Patrol the description of a car that was believed to have been involved in heroin trafficking.

The State Patrol spotted the vehicle driving Northbound on I–35.
It was there authorities found a hypodermic needle and several bindle rocks of heroin.

25 year old Eugene Samuel Olson and 24 year old Anthony William Wright were arrested in that incident.

Three days later a similar traffic stop was made in which three people were arrested on multiple drug related charges.

20 year old Danielle Lee Webster, 25 year old Michael Lee Fox and 32 year old John Vincent Blanchard were arrested in that incident.

The complaint says Webster and Fox tried to hide and destroy the heroin before authorities could find it.

Cloquet police say they haven't had to deal with heroin much until recently.

"Typically we don't see the illegal substance of heroin or haven't been seeing it as much so yeah, in that respect that would be odd. We see more, and have seen more in the past 10 years the illegal use of prescription drugs," said Deputy Chief Terry Hill.

Authorities say one of the reasons why they might be seeing more heroin, is that it is often cheaper to buy than prescription pills.

Police say the investigations were spurred by the recent overdose death of a Cloquet man.

That's when the Cloquet Police Department teamed up with the State Patrol to help curb the recent surplus of heroin in the area.