Heroin use on the rise in Humboldt

HUMBOLDT COUNTY- Law enforcement officials have seen an increase in heroin use and sales in Humboldt County and the problem is growing. On Monday, four pounds of the drug was seized from a vehicle in Eureka.

"This is a significant amount of heroin, probably one of the biggest seizures in Humboldt County, possibly in our history," said Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. Knight said in the 90s the most officers would seize was a gram,.

Mario Martinez Torres, 20, was arrested for allegedly transporting the substance for sale. Torres, a resident of Perris, Calif., is believed to have been carrying the drug into the area from Southern Calif. Knight said the substance is not made locally so the drug has to be transported into town.

Knight calculates that the bust took 16,000 dosage units off the street, an estimated amount of $200,000 in street value. "When your talking four pounds of heroin and your to break that down into tenths of a gram, that is a lot of heroin coming into the county and this is just one shipment," he said.

There are more drug users in the area now. Knight said that is due to more people smoking the substance instead of injecting it into their veins. "There's some fallacies out there that if you smoke it you will not get addicted," said Knight. "Heroin is just as addictive if you smoke it as if you put it in your veins with a needle."