CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte now ranks fifth in the country when it comes to the sale and distribution of black tar heroin.

Those numbers werecompiled by federal drug agents who are working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to combat the problem.

CMPD major Glen Neimeyer said the black tar heroin is being brought into the city by Mexican drug cartels. He pointed out the recent arrests of five men from Honduras who he said had ties to a Mexican cartel.

Neimeyer said the average user in Charlotte is young, age 17 to the upper 20's, and white. He said many black tar heroin users are responsible for petty thefts from neighborhood homes and maybe even the user's own home and parents.

The addiction is what causes it, Neimeyer said, adding that many of these people would not be the normal people you would expect to commit crimes like this.

Neimeyer said the city has received a federal grant allowing them to put more officers then ever on the street to try to deal with the heroin problem.

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