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Fugitive Files/Heroin Problems
Local law enforcement is seeing a sharp rise in heroin abuse, and they say the dangerous drug has direct ties to the person we're helping deputies put behind bars tonight in Fugitive Files.
Authorities say more than 100 burglaries in Sangamon County in the past year are believed to be traced back to heroin users trying to feed their addiction. Authorities say a known heroin dealer in the capital city is now wanted again.
Take a look at 25-year-old Nathan Knapp. He's featured in our Fugitive Files, wanted for two counts of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.
Knapp has a rap sheet. In 2008, he stole a car on West Lawrence. The next year, he broke into another to steal stuff. In 2010, he stole from a Wal-Mart.
Jack Campbell with the Sangamon County Sheriff's office says he likely committed the crimes to feed his drug habit.
Our detectives received a tip of possible activity on the south side of Springfield. At that time, they opened an investigation and were able to make contact with Mr. Knapp and make a controlled buy from him eventually.
Heroin use is on the rise in central Illinois. At the Gateway Foundation Drug and Alcohol Center in Springfield, half of people seeking help have an opiate addiction which is either heroin or pain pills.
"That tells you the magnitude of the problem," Executive Director Kerry Henry said.
Most addicts continue to use to avoid the physical withdrawal symptoms, which means they'll do whatever it takes to get the drug.
"Unfortunately, most times a lot of my clients here have resorted to different types of crimes: writing scripts to get medicine, stealing, writing bad checks, burglary--because they want to avoid withdrawal," Henry said.