AFFTON, Mo. (KMOX) – A board member of the Affton Chamber of Commerce, Charlie Merx, says he first noticed the problem just after the Jason Stockley verdict.
With police apparently busy elsewhere with protesters, Merx says drug activity spiked at the Marian Heights Shopping Plaza where he owns a flooring store.
“We’ve had multiple issues of people using heroin in cars and passing out,” Merx says. “It’s a serious increase.”
Merx says drug users are also shooting up under the nearby highway overpass at Interstate 55 and Bayless, while others hold signs on the street level asking for money.
Affton resident Deb Woods says she has also seen a marked increase in drug activity around the area.
Woods says a drug dealer in a Camero at a nearby 7-11 asked her if she wanted some “H” — a street name for heroin.
Woods has also seen people passed out in the Marian Heights Shopping Plaza, even navigating around one drug user to get to a restaurant.
“One day I was going to the Subway sandwich shop there and I had to walk over someone — I initially thought they were passed out drunk — but they had the needle still sticking in their arm,” Woods said, “And you had to step over that person to walk on that sidewalk.”
Woods says Affton is “on the abyss” and could end up “like the state streets,” unless the community comes together to face the heroin problem in the area.
Merx has passed out flyers to area businesses urging them to call the police non-emergency phone number right away when they see suspected drug activity.
A St. Louis County narcotics detective familiar with opiates sent KMOX an email offering to provide information, but he was not available for comment Wednesday afternoon.