The death of a young woman led, in part, to a heroin crackdown in Chester County, officials announced Monday.
Ten alleged heroin dealers were arrested as a result of an investigation involving the Chester County district attorney's office, Pennsylvania State Police and a number of other law enforcement agencies, said District Attorney Tom Hogan.
"Heroin does not discriminate, from Main Line suburbs to rural locations, heroin turns kids into hardcore addicts or sends them to an early grave," said Hogan.
One of the investigations that was part of the crackdown actually began with the overdose death of a 22-year-old Phoenixville woman, whose parents found her dead in her bedroom, said Hogan.
The investigation led police to identify the woman's heroin dealer as Joseph McIntosh, 31, of Philadelphia, Hogan said.
"Every parent across Chester County needs to be vigilant to the dangers of heroin," said Hogan. "Heroin addiction can lead to death or a lifetime of misery. Protect your kids from this poison."
Another investigation by state police led to the arrests of Kristopher Peirson, 22, of West Grove, Pa.; Kyle Kellner, 22, of London Grove, Pa.; Westley Reed, 27, of Landenberg, Pa.; Andre Rivera, 27, of Avondale, Pa.; John Anderson, 24, of Nottingham, Pa.; Jose, 21, and Alejandro Guzman, 26, brothers from Wilmington, Del.; and William Jones, 26, of West Grove, Pa.
"The district attorney's office has taken a hardline approach to fighting heroin in Chester County. They have made the arrest and prosecution of heroin dealers a priority and have, without hesitation, supported all law enforcement efforts," said Capt. William White, commander, Pa. State Police Troop J. "The Pennsylvania State Police are committed to working with the district attorney's office to address this serious issue."
A third investigation in East Pikeland led to the arrest of Jeffrey Gavin, 34, of Phoenixville, Hogan said.
Thirty-four people who died in Chester County in 2012 had heroin in his or her system, according to statistics from the county coroner's office. Nine of those deaths occurred in November and December, confirming an upward trend in the county, officials said.
In addition to the district attorney's office and the state police, the investigations were conducted by the Phoenixville, East Pikeland, Oxford, Tredyffrin, Kennett Square, and New Garden police departments.