AUGUSTA, Maine — With a surge in heroin trafficking in Maine in recent years, the attorney general’s office is joining a multistate task force in hopes to combat use of the drug.
Maine and Maryland are joining New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts in sharing resources and information to stop regional heroin trafficking, the attorney general’s office announced Friday.
Percentages of prosecuted cases by the attorney general’s drug crimes task force involving heroin have increased in recent years, with figures rising from 7.71 percent in 2012 to 20.41 percent in 2013 and 31.8 percent last year.
In 2013, 176 people in Maine died because of overdoses, a number of which were opioid related, and 977 babies born in Maine last year were affected by drugs.
Historically, heroin has been imported to Maine from Massachusetts, but the state has seen an increase in trafficking rings from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.