Residents of an Horry County subdivision are still in shock after a huge amount of black tar heroin was found in their neighborhood.
But one narcotics agent says they shouldn't be surprised. He says heroin can be found just about anywhere in the community.
Black tar heroin is a sticky, unprocessed form of the drug that's more potent than the powder form.
Dean Bishop, an officer with the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit, says both types of heroin have been on the rise in Horry County for at least the past ten years.
"We've seen an increase in its use and in this area being used as a distribution point for the heroin."
Bishop says there's a large customer base for heroin dealers in Horry County. The drug comes to Myrtle Beach from Mexico and then spreads to rural areas.
Bishop says Myrtle Beach may be popular for distribution because it's about half-way between New York and Florida.
He says heroin dealers may lease a home in the area for a few months at a time, using it to stash drugs, and it could be in any neighborhood.
"We target our investigations in the lowest of income areas and behind gated communities. It's everywhere. It's an epidemic level."
Bishop says heroin is a difficult and time-consuming drug to investigate because it requires a lot of debriefing of dealers who have been arrested to find out about their drug networks.
He says local agents are making progress in the war on drugs . B ut no one knows when they'll be able to declare victory.
"That's hard to say . T hat's hard to say. I'd like to think one day we can get a handle on it."
Bishop says black tar heroin is about the same price on the street as the powder variety . B ut because it's easier to conceal and more potent, it's gaining popularity with users.
In the bust announced Wednesday, Horry County police seized more than $12 million in heroin from a home in the Arrowhead subdivision.
They seized eight kilograms of black tar heroin, one and half kilograms of powder heroin and a quarter kilo of cocaine.
No arrests have been made.