CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. - The Carter County Sheriff's Office is looking into leads after Hampton Pharmacy was robbed. Deputies say the suspect got away with thousands of Oxycodone pills.
Thousands of Oxycodone pills may be on the streets in Carter County after officers say Hampton Pharmacy was robbed Monday evening, leaving some residents concerned. "There is a huge drug problem not only in Carter County, but in the Tri-Cities period, and it's increasing," says Denetria James, a concerned resident.
James lives in Carter County, and she tells us hearing what people will do to get a 'fix' scares her. "It's dangerous to be driving around and shopping by yourself anymore. I'm a single mom it's hard, it's dangerous, it's scary," she said.
Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes tells us a man walked into the pharmacy before it closed, showed a semi-automatic handgun, made the employees get on the floor, and told them to give him pills. "I can tell you on the street the value of that amount of drugs that was taken was about $20,000," adds Mathes.
Mathes believes the rise in thefts and burglaries are associated with drug issues all around the region. "Someone who's addicted, who's going into withdrawals, they will steal from their own parents. They will rob, do things they normally would not do in an attempt to try to get what they need," he said.
Carter County isn't the only place seeing an increase in crime, possibly due to drugs. Sgt. Steve Crawford with the Bristol Virginia Police Department tells us they can also relate a good portion of their crimes to drugs. "Usually we don't find that out until we arrested someone and they tell us, or we arrest them and we see their state of mind," he said.
Both departments tell us they are cracking down on the drug problem.
Meanwhile, people like James are hoping they can put an end to the violence. "[We need to] get better programs to help these people recover, so they won't relapse and thus commit crimes to do the drugs," he said.
Sheriff Mathes tells us the pills sell for about a dollar per milligram; if it's a 20 milligram pill it costs $20 on the street, and a 30 milligram pills sells for $30.
If you have any information about drug related crimes contact local authorities.