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Our Local Heroin Addiction

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AG Kane: Heroin problem in Johnstown is out of control


By: Justin Platek

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Agents from the state attorney general's office are infiltrating Johnstown, fighting the war on heroin.

"The fact is, we have an epidemic on our hands," Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in an exclusive interview with 6 News. "Johnstown is accessible off the highways. Johnstown is of a certain size that makes us a target."

Kane said that drug dealers know the police department is understaffed. She said that's why there's been a sudden spike in crime in Johnstown over the past couple of years.

Last year, there were seven homicides in the city, crimes Kane attributes to drugs.

State Rep. Bryan Barbin called Kane's office recently to explain how bad the problem had become.

"The very next day, we pulled narcotics agents from other regions [to go to Johnstown]," Kane said.

She said agents are working alongside the Johnstown police department and Cambria County drug task force, executing more search warrants, stopping more cars and more heavily patrolling the streets.

"You've seen an increase in police activity because we've fanned out across your region," she said.

6 News asked what happens when the crime rate starts to decrease in the city. Kane said that her office will have to move its resources elsewhere.

"Unfortunately, crime is like a balloon. If you squeeze it out of one portion, it will balloon up in another," she said. "But we will leave Johnstown better equipped to take care of the problem."

AG Kane: Heroin problem in Johnstown is out of control

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