Major victory in fight against heroin

The man responsible for 80 to 90 percent of the heroin traffic in Brown County is behind bars.
That’s according to Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force Commander John Burke.
Gary Schmid is charged with Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity and Trafficking in Heroin, both first degree felonies.
He is also charged with second degree felony Possession of Heroin and third degree felony Tampering With Evidence.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Feb. 15 and remains in custody on a $250,000 bond.
“There were at least 40 other dealers being supplied by Mr. Schmid.  It probably boils down to hundreds of people in Brown County who were getting their heroin through this source,” Burke said.
Burke said that the street value of the drugs in Brown County supplied by Schmid amounted to millions of dollars of drugs sold every year.
“These people were doing this on a weekly basis.  Over the course of a year, I can tell you that the street value is in the millions.  When you start to add that up, it’s also hundreds of overdoses and deaths associated with this,” Burke said.
Schmid was tracked by local investigators to Warren County, where the SWAT team there executed a bust.
“One of the SWAT members was overcome by heroin because he was trying to dump heroin in the toilet.  We still seized three ounces of heroin and quite a bit of money,” Burke said.
He added that Schmid told police that he dumped about 18 ounces of heroin down the toilet.
That amount would have a street value exceeding $50,000.
“Nearly all his heroin trafficking impacted Brown County and that’s why he’s being prosecuted here,” Burke said.
“He has a lot of ties to local heroin dealing and has been one of our bigger targets here.  Getting him charged is huge. He was the supplier to Joe Stein.  Mr. Stein just got ten years in the penitentiary for heroin trafficking.  (Schmid) was the source for Mr Stein and many others.”
Burke said that the next step in the investigation is to pursue the individual or group that supplied heroin, cocaine and other drugs to Schmid.
Brown County Prosecuting Attorney Zac Corbin is also pleased with the arrest.
“This is exactly why we created the drug task force. When you are able to put together a concentrated, coordinated effort toward these drug traffickers, you are able to identify who the drug traffickers are in Brown County,” Corbin said.
“When we take one of this magnitude off the streets, it is a step in the right direction.  But we know there are others who will be eager to take his place.”
Burke said that while arrests like Schmid are definitely reason to celebrate, it’s not time to relax.
“It’s never over.  We now have a lot of intelligence that we didn’t have before,” Burke said.
“Drug trafficking  never totally dries it up.  There is always somebody else who will see an opportunity and try to move in.”
Corbin said that he and local law enforcement will keep working as well.
“We have to make it as hard as possible for these folks to come into Brown County to come in and traffic their drugs.  We want people to know that if they do that, we will track them down and prosecute them.  The more successful we are, the more of a deterrent that will become.”
Burke said that he was grateful for all the help he received from local and state law enforcement agencies in the Schmid case.