KPD: crackdown on prescription pills leading to heroin problem

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Chris Durant and his daughter live in Steeplechase Apartments across from apartment 4802, which Knoxville Police raided Tuesday afternoon.

"All of the sudden it was just boom-boom. And you just heard people coming up the stairs, up the stairs, up the stairs and you heard a lot of "Get on the ground, get on the ground,'" said Durant.

Officers found heroin, drug paraphernalia, items used to package drugs and close to $9,000 in cash inside the apartment. Christopher Jackson, Jessica McCarver and Eddie Taylor all face drug charges - accused of selling heroin.

Police say heroin is becoming a bigger problem in East Tennessee. That's because as authorities crack down on prescription drugs, the cost of pills is going up - and many are turning to heroin because it's more affordable.

"There's some people from larger cities in the North that's being able to come down and to take advantage of that market. And it's cheaper and they're fulfilling their need," said Darrell DeBusk, with the Knoxville Police Department.

Neighbors said the bust worries them:

"I have children. And I don't want that kind of thing around my children. If it was just me, I wouldn't be really worried about it, but with children around here, it does kind of bother me," said Michael Deason, who lives a few buildings down from where the bust happened.

"I'm actually going to talk to the complex at least about moving apartments. Because obviously there's people that know where they live and come by here and that kind of thing," said Durant.

Officers said they're taking the heroin problem seriously, and they're tackling it with the help of other agencies both in and out of state.

This is the first time Christopher Jackson, Eddie Taylor and Jessica McCarver have faced charges in Knox County, but police said Jackson has an extensive violent history in other states.

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