Foster and four others were arrested after an investigation conducted by a field agent from the Sacramento office of the FBI working with an agent from the San Francisco field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). They began wiretapping Foster and his alleged co-conspirators in the fall of 2014, concluding their investigation with the arrests of Foster, one of his relatives, and two additional co-conspirators. Warrants were issued but not executed for another two, which would bring the total arrests on this investigation up to six.
Foster oversaw operations of patrol officers in Fresno, a city of about 500,000 people, for more than eight years. His boss, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, announced the arrest, but he was not aware of it until after the arrest had taken place. He was totally shocked and hopes that people will remember that in America, the accused stand innocent until proven guilty.
The warrant states that the investigation team on two different occasions observed Foster entering and leaving a pharmacy, where they later learned that he had picked up 100 oxycodone tablets, and delivered them to the home of his relative. He was also overheard via wiretap discussing the cost of heroin, referred to as China white but in the context of clothing, and stated the person wanted a “rack” of this clothing—with a rack referencing a thousand dollars’ worth.
Exactly What Is the Cost of Heroin in Fresno?
The cost of heroin in Fresno—or anywhere—depends upon the quality of the drug obtained. Pure heroin can be refined and then cut, and cut again each time it passes through someone’s hands until it reaches the streets.
The agent in charge of the investigation stated in the complaint against Foster and his cohorts that she believed the current cost of heroin in Fresno or throughout California could be anywhere from $500 to $900 for an ounce of black tar heroin, or from $900 to $1,200 for an ounce of the fine-powdered white variety. The cost of heroin in Fresno does not vary much from product sold throughout other parts of the country.
For the addict who finds himself on the buying end, the cost of heroin goes far beyond the amount he pays the dealer for his immediate fix. There is the loss of employment and the inability to maintain a home or buy food. There is the cost of arrest, if that happens, and thousands of dollars spent going through the legal system. The treatment cost of heroin in Fresno can be maybe $4,000 or more. It’s much more cost effective to seek treatment as an outpatient at a methadone treatment program; residential treatment costs about $30,000 and offers a riskier chance of success for the opiate addict. But those figures pale compared to the cost to the taxpayer when someone goes to prison.
It Goes Beyond the Dollars
If you’re using heroin and you haven’t been caught yet, what has your addiction cost you? Many people using heroin today started out with an addiction to pain pills. Maybe they had a legitimate prescription because of an injury or illness, but they developed a tolerance for the pain pills and they kept seeking them out even after the doctor refused to write more prescriptions. There are plenty of needle-shooting heroin addicts out there who will tell you their first heroin fix came when they could no longer get their pain pills. That’s when most addicts give up on maintaining a job—they no longer care about going to work, and when they’re fired, so what.
But what happens to their relationships with their family and friends? Many addicts report a long history of volatile relationships with the people closest to them, including scenarios involving domestic violence or sexual abuse. But there are also those who walk down the lonely road toward addiction who have not had those problems. They know that they are leaving behind a cadre of loving, caring relatives who no longer know how to help them. The trust that they once enjoyed among friends and families has disappeared in a trail of dragon smoke.
A person using heroin pays the price of good health. Once addiction takes hold, wise decisions fly out the window. Nobody addicted to opiates pays attention to good nutrition. Good hygiene becomes a thing of the past. Needles are shared, and poor judgment leads to sexual promiscuity. The cost of heroin in Fresno, Portland, Philadelphia, New York, or anywhere includes illness from infections including hepatitis, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV/AIDS.
What Price Should Foster Pay?
It’s easy to sympathize with Fresno Police Chief Dyer, who cared about Foster and is shocked at his employee’s arrest for alleged possession and distribution of heroin, oxycodone, and marijuana. Your friends and family can easily identify with his feelings if they look back to the day they found out you were hooked.
If Foster is convicted of the alleged crimes, the people who sentence him should remember the misery his crimes have caused for others and how much the cost of heroin affected them. Foster himself is not an addict—at least not a known addict—but the cost of heroin in Fresno as well as the oxycodone and marijuana that he allegedly made available to others throughout the Fresno County area is too great for the public to ignore. If guilty, he deserves to be punished and spend some time among some of the folks he has previously put in jail. Welcome home, Brother Foster, they will say.
If you’re one of those people using heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl, or any of the opiates that ruin lives and cost people their souls, pick up the phone and get yourself scheduled for an assessment at a methadone treatment program today. That’s all it takes to get started.