The Commander of the Albany Drug Unit says he's never seen anything like what happened at last week's drug raid in his 35 years as a police officer. But he's not talking about the raid itself.
"As we say, you can't see the forest for the trees," said Major Bill Berry of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit. "Well, this is you can't see the cops for the dope."
For a home recently raided by drug agents, this home at 523 9th Avenue is still surprisingly popular.
Drug agents raided the home last Friday morning and arrested several people after finding marijuana, crack cocaine, and opiates like methadone and oxycodone. With investigator still on the scene in broad daylight, they started getting visitors.
"People would drive up and literally approach some of the officers, in other words, our plainclothes officers that weren't in uniform and, 'what's going on, is it okay, can I get something?'."
Agents made a total of 16 arrests before their day was finished. So what would cause a potential drug buyer to try and purchase drugs from the police?
Andy Martin of Insight Psychotherapy says the answer is simple â" addiction. "It's kind of the thrill of the hunt and any hunter will tell you that the whole getting ready, looking forward to going, getting everything gathered up, and that all leads up to the kill and the kill is sometimes anti-climatic," said Martin.
Martin also says that getting high is secondary to most addicts. He believes the main goal of most of the home's suspected customers was likely avoiding withdrawal. "You have to maintain a level of that drug in your system and if that level falls off, you'll be doing what you got to do to get more," said Martin.
In addition to the apparent desperation of the people who allegedly came to the house to buy drugs, another disturbing part of this story is how anyone can have enough prescription medication on hand to sell in such large volumes.
"They go into other states that don't restrict it as much as Georgia does or doesn't check as far up and doesn't follow up," said Berry.
"People are going to get high and there are going to be people who sell stuff to those people so they can get high," added Martin.