BATON ROUGE – The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office was involved in a shootout with 23-year-old George Pikes after he allegedly sold heroin to undercover officers on Tuesday.
The sheriff says the demand for the drug has increased.
"I also feel like the reduction in sentencing for heroin distributors, those that sell it, I think that kind of opened the door a little bit for them to say I can go back to selling heroin now because I'm not faced with a life sentence or whatever," EBR Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said.
In Baton Rouge this year, the number of heroin deaths are down, however Deborah Towers, who works with addicts at the O'Brien Center, said that the number of dealers is on the rise.
"The money that's involved in it is astronomical and so therefore it's not much that they wouldn't do. They're involved in trafficking, they're involved in home invasion, it's an attitude like none I've ever seen before," Towers said.
Louisiana State Police are investigating the shooting. Pikes now faces drug distribution charges, charges of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, aggravated flight of an officer and two counts of criminal damage to property.
"I mean they are pulling triggers on each other and pulling triggers on law enforcement and it's very scary," Gautreaux said.
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