City Drug Bust Nets Heroin, Cash

Two city residents are behind bars following a drug bust Tuesday.

An investigation into the sale and possession of heroin in Chautauqua County led Jamestown Police to execute a search warrant at 516 Newland Ave. just after 4 p.m.

A quantity of heroin was located along with paraphernalia and cash inside the residence of 22-year-old Barry R. Matteson.

Matteson was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Two small children were located during the time of the search, leading Matteson and another resident, Elizabeth M. Griffin, 22, to also be charged with endangering the welfare of a child, police said.

Matteson and Griffin were transported to Jamestown City Jail where they are awaiting arraignment. The children were placed in the care of a relative.

Heroin-related arrests are on the rise in Chautauqua County. In 2011, Jamestown Police made nine heroine-related arrests, and 28 in 2013.

“It’s everywhere,” said Captain Robert F. Samuelson, division commander of the Jamestown Police Department. “Heroin has exploded to almost epidemic proportions … and crosses nearly (every demographic).”

According to Harry Snellings, chief of police at Jamestown Police department, the use of heroin is a “natural transition” from prescription drugs when users find difficulty in locating drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Demerol.

Heroin, on the other hand, is often cheaper and more potent.

According to the Journal of American Medicine Association, the incidence of heroin use is 19 times higher among individuals who have abused prescription pain medications.

Insufficient treatment for addicts is leading to countless repeat offenders and overcrowded jails.

“This is a supply and demand business. In a perfect world, we reduce dramatically the demand, and the supply end takes care of itself,” said Joe Gerace, Chautauqua County sheriff. “That’s a pretty hefty goal, but that doesn’t mean we should back off of it.”