ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Some police agencies say heroin is to blame for many burglaries, car break-ins and the untimely deaths of teenagers all over the St. Louis area.
Wednesday, a former prosecutor and recovering addict took News 4 through the most troubled areas of the city. He says the intersections of Grand and North Broadway and De Soto Avenue and West Florissant Avenue are notorious for heroin trafficking, and even referred to Hall Street as a “shooting gallery.”
Former addict Chad Sabora says the area is aptly named because that’s where addicts go to shoot up after buying heroin on the street.
The problem is so bad along De Soto Avenue that Gelender Shannon put up a sign saying, “no drug parking, will call police.”
“This is the most dangerous street corner in all of St. Louis,” she said. “I know everybody who lives here,” Shannon said; adding that when she sees a stranger in the neighborhood it usually means there’s a drug deal going down.
It’s a problem that is spreading in the city, and police are doing their best to combat it. However, as Sabora told News 4, the customers will never stop searching.
“There’s no line we won’t cross in order to avoid going through the sickness,” he said. “It’s more than a desire, it’s an obsession.”
That obsession has led to a booming heroin trade; one that brings in addicts daily with cash in hand.
“Couple hundred dollars, maybe a couple thousand sometimes,” he said. Customers will follow the dealers through the streets until they think police aren’t watching, and then they’ll make their purchase.
“You throw the cash from your car to his car, once he has that he throws the heroin into your car and then you part ways,” Sabora said.
Sabora once lived the good life in Chicago as a Cook County prosecutor. It all came crashing down after he became a heroin addict. Now, he is working to bring awareness to the problem of rampant heroin sales.
Over at De Soto and West Florissant, Sabora says when they’re on the streets dealers are organized- using look-outs and hiding heroin nearby rather than carrying it on them.
Saint Louis police tell News 4 they target the heroin hot spots with patrols and undercover officers when necessary.
Sabora says it’s those undercover officers that addicts fear. On the street they call them the “jumpout boys”.
But the jumpout boys have a tough job, according to Sabora. He says for every dealer busted, another moves up to take his place.