HOUSTON – Will Glaspy recently assumed the reins as the new special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Houston Office.
Glaspy may be new to Houston, but he has spent more than decade battling drug traffickers along the Texas border.
While Glaspy said drug cartels still maintain a strong presence in our area, one of his top priorities is tackling the opioid crisis.
Is There A Difference In Dealing With the opioid crisis In Houston, as opposed to the rest of the country?
Glaspy said the difference is that Houston is a major transshipment point for most drugs heading to the rest of the country, including opioids. However, Glaspy said the Houston area has not seen the number of overdose deaths seen in other parts of the country.
“What we are seeing here is completely different than what they are seeing in the Midwest and on the East Coast,” Glaspy said.
Glaspy attributes this to a user population that has not yet transitioned into street drugs like heroin. Typically, someone addicted to opioids will eventually turn to heroin because it is cheaper than pills. These new heroin users can feed into high overdose rates.
Glaspy said an aggressive approach to education and getting those addicted the help they need can prevent users from turning to street drugs.
“They don’t know how much to use, They don’t know the purity, they don’t know what’s in that heroin at all,” Glaspy said. “We are trying to get out ahead of that.”
What about Manufacturers?
Glaspy said the Houston DEA is no different than other other offices in that manufacturers are a prime target for prosecution. He said one of the main concerns is counterfeit pills hitting the streets that are laced with fentanyl..
“It looks like the hydrocodone pill they were taking when it was prescribed by a doctor,” Glaspy said.
Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that, even in minute doses, can kill a person. Glaspy said those looking to get pills without going through a doctor fall prey to these synthetic drugs.
Glaspy said this is another reason the DEA is targeting manufacturers and those who buy in bulk off the internet to sell on the streets.