22 Jun Homer City: Suffering More Than Its Fair Share of Drug Crimes
Homer City would be a relatively quiet community – if it wasn’t for the level of drug crime. According to a recent Indiana Gazette report, the court system within the county handled 1,600 cases last year. Of those cases, 80 percent were crimes that had some sort of connection to drugs.
The biggest problem within the community is heroin, according to officials. Many are frustrated with the level of drug activity that continues to take place in the same locations. Citizens also do not understand why the same individuals are being charged with drug-related crimes. Why are they continually set free only to break the law again?
Those who are trying to prosecute the cases claim that time is not on their side and some cases can take well over a year to complete. In addition, judges within the county are constrained by the type of sentences they can impose on people who plead guilty or those who are convicted of misdemeanor drug crimes. Most are bound by sentencing guidelines set by the state.
Citizens are also demanding to know why law enforcement is not targeting chief drug dealers or leaders of gangs in the area. According to county officials, there are no such individuals in the area, but instead a variety of mid-level dealers who travel to Homer City from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit and Cleveland. Even if these individuals can be prosecuted, there are at least five others who can easily fill the gap, ensuring the drug flow continues.
For a number of crimes in Homer City – and throughout the United States – the problem stems from an addiction an individual cannot control and they seek a “fix” to be able to function. For many, it is crime that will land them in prison where they can get help. The system is not perfect and changes need to be made in order to truly tackle and reduce drug crimes in the county.
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