CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. - Police seized $34,820 cash and drug paraphernalia from a Midlothian apartment after arresting two suspected drug dealers. The "multi-month investigation" was prompted by an increase of heroin overdoses across Central Virginia, police said.
Sean Kelly Heyward, 43, of Crowne Creek Drive, and Jamal Nathan Gethers, 32, of New Jersey are charged with felony manufacturing, sale, and possession of a controlled substance.
Heyward's address is in the Crowne Village At Swift Creek apartments off Hull Street Road. His apartment was searched May 16, according to police.
"A multi-month investigation indicates Heyward was dealing heroin in the Midlothian area and Gethers was assisting Heyward with the drug transactions," police said.
Investigators say Sean Heyward lived in this complex with his girlfriend.
According to police, when officers arrested Heyward at the apartment complex he was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. He's scheduled to go to court in Richmond on a previous drug possession charge.
Neighbors are shocked.
"We don't usually have those kinds of problems around here," said Ashley Paulette.
"That"s just really surprising because I have never seen anything like that," said Ralph Zinser.
Regina Whitsett with Substance Abuse Free Environment or Safe, says the county has launched an aggressive drug buy back program, which could be the reason why heroin use is on the rise.
"We've collected over 5 tons of prescription drugs since 2010. And now, that prescription pills are no longer available, the heroin is more easily accessible and it's actually less expensive," said Regina Whitsett, Executive Director, SAFE, Inc.
With that in mind, Ralph Zinser says he'll pay more attention to anything suspicious in his neighborhood.
"No community is free of it. It can happen to your neighbor next door. And you would never be aware of it," said Zinser.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Chesterfield Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.