Heroin may first enter the country through underground tunnels or make a border crossing in secret compartments hollowed out of car panels or welded into semi-trailer truck frames. At times, a dealer simply schedules a pickup with FedEx and plays the odds that a shipment will make it through.
Sometimes it comes, as it did with Vargas, through a drug courier’s bowels.
Regardless how it's delivered, authorities say most of the heroin purchased in the Dayton region — and in America today — is trafficked by violent criminal organizations based in one country: Mexico.
"If I'm an addict I have a very small view of what heroin is or where it comes from. I know it comes from my dealer, or if I'm in a suburb I know it's not in my neighborhood, it's on some other street corner," said Montgomery County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Brem, commander of the Regional Agencies Narcotics and Gun Enforcement Task Force. "But the fact of the matter is we deal with cartel-level distribution in the Miami Valley on a daily basis."
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