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An ongoing partnership between the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the Anne Arundel County Police Department has resulted in two main heroin-dealing groups in Annapolis being “effectively shut down,” cutting off major pipelines of the drug into Calvert County, Capt. Steve Jones of the sheriff’s office said.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Maryland State Police assisted in the long-term investigation that culminated in the indictments of nine Annapolis dealers, according to a Tuesday press release from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office.

The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit contacted the Annapolis Police Department in October 2013 in response to an increase in heroin overdoses in the county, according to the release. When investigations revealed that drug users in Calvert County were buying heroin in Annapolis, DEU detectives were prompted to contact the Annapolis Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit.

On Tuesday, five of the nine indicted had been arrested, Jones said.

“Other investigations will spider off of this one,” he said.

Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin said the investigation and subsequent arrests closed down a significant operation, estimating that about 75 percent of the heroin in Calvert County comes from Annapolis, while Baltimore and Prince George’s County supply the remainder.

“I can’t impress upon you what a huge arrest this was,” Martin said.

The months-long initiative involved both Calvert County and Annapolis detectives working together to make more that 50 controlled buys of heroin, seizing more than 100 grams of the drug, the release states.

Working with law enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions is crucial because “crime doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Martin said. Perpetrators of other crimes are also crossing lines.

Martin said she is hopeful those whose heroin supply has now been cut off will turn to treatment instead.

Heroin alone is just part of the problem, she said. The crimes people commit to get the money to buy drugs include thefts, robberies, burglaries and assaults.

Martin advocates a “three-pronged approach” to dealing with the county’s heroin problem, which is not unique to Calvert: enforcement, education and rehabilitation.

There have been seven fatal heroin overdoses in Calvert County so far this year, according to the press release. Sheriff Mike Evans (R) recognizes that the increase in heroin use is one of the biggest challenges facing the community.

“I will continue to keep our citizens safe from the drugs that have plagued our county, state and country,” Evans said in the release. “I do not care how far I have to reach or how much effort it will take. We will fight against having drugs, fight for our children and fight for each person in Calvert County.”

afrazier@somdnews.com