An anonymous tipster led police to 25 balloons of heroin, valued around $1,000, in a trash can in the Safeway parking lot off Siskiyou Boulevard just after 5 p.m. Thursday.




The discovery was the latest in a string of heroin seizures made by Ashland police in the last year, said Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness.




"We seem to have a heroin problem in the city," Holderness said. "We've made several heroin arrests at both the smaller levels and the for-sale levels."




The largest seizure made this year contained 121 balloons of heroin, he said, but Thursday was the first time the drug has been recovered from an unattended public place.




"The best guess would be that it was a drop point and someone was supposed to come pick it up. People don't normally throw away 25 balloons of heroin," Holderness said. "We don't know &

it could have been someone who decided they didn't want to do heroin anymore, and they threw it away."




The responding officer conducted additional surveillance around the area, hoping to spot someone retrieving the stash, but was unsuccessful, Holderness said. The supermarket does not have security cameras, according to Safeway employees.




Police believe the heroin was intended for a dealer because of the size of the stash. The case was unusual, however, because most drug deals are done hand-to-hand, Holderness said.




"People in that particular line of business don't trust each other a great deal," he said. "People don't normally do stuff on credit."




Steven Fogelman, director of Kolpia Counseling, said he not seen a recent increase in heroin use, but the drug is present in Ashland.




"We've been working there for 10 years, and there's always kind of a smattering of people using heroin," he said. He estimated the company sees two or three people every six months who are using heroin.




"We have had a couple of clients who have overdosed on heroin in Ashland."




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