The arrests of two people this week in Bowling Green on charges of trafficking in heroin suggest the drug is making inroads into the underground economy, but police say other substances continue to dominate the drug trade.
Adam W. Aldridge and Stephanie Silvano were arrested Tuesday in separate incidents.
According to an arrest citation, Aldridge, 32, was stopped Tuesday afternoon by Kentucky State Police after failing to signal while turning from Veterans Memorial Lane onto Russellville Road.
During the traffic stop, Aldridge “was breathing heavily and his speech was very rapid,” and he told troopers he was going to meet his parole officer, the citation said.
A police K-9 alerted to the presence of drugs in Aldridge’s vehicle and a search led to the discovery of a backpack in the passenger seat containing two black pouches with multiple syringes, containers of suspected heroin, digital scales and packing materials.
Aldridge was arrested on charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to or improper signal.
About four hours after Aldridge was arrested, members of KSP Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations West executed a search warrant at Silvano’s Wiltshire Street residence.
“The search warrant resulted in recovering suspected heroin, methamphetamine, crack cocaine and marijuana,” Silvano’s arrest citation said. “Several firearms were also seized. Two were reported stolen.”
As Silvano was processed Tuesday night at Warren County Regional Jail, a deputy jailer conducting a strip search found 5.1 grams of suspected heroin in Silvano’s rectum, according to a separate citation.
Silvano is charged with two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin), first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (less than four grams, cocaine), first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (more than two grams, meth), first-degree promoting contraband, receiving stolen property (firearm), possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Locally, heroin accounts for a minuscule portion of drug-related arrests, but police are aware of the drug’s presence here.
Tommy Loving, executive director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force, said his agency has worked one other heroin trafficking case this year.
“When you compare it to other drug trafficking cases, we’re really lucky, even though we’re beginning to see a little of it,” Loving said about heroin trafficking in Warren County. “It’s still more of an anomaly than the meth trafficking we’re seeing. (Heroin) is here, but is it becoming the drug of choice? We don’t have that indication at this point.”
Fatal overdoses have risen from year to year in Kentucky, with 1,565 drug overdose deaths reported in 2017 and heroin use involved in about 22 percent of those deaths, according to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.
Thirteen overdose deaths were recorded in Warren County in 2017, the most recent year of statistics available from the state Office of Drug Control Policy, but fewer than five deaths resulted from heroin or fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.
A Bowling Green woman’s death last year from a heroin overdose led to federal criminal charges against the man suspected of selling her the drugs.