Undercover deputies gathered for instructions to clean up Columbus streets. After securing their bullet-proof vests and loading ammunition, they spread out across the city.
Their covert visits are meant to first lock up people peddling heroin. But they’re also aimed at finding them help through drug court and rehabilitation.
It worked for a man that 10TV will call “Joe.” He is now an informant and has asked that his true identity remain hidden.
After more than 5 years behind bars, he's fighting his heroin addiction with the deputies who arrested him. “Whether I had to text one of them at 12 o’clock night, they were both always there to talk to.”
Several years ago, Joe was earning good grades at a high-performing Columbus school and excelled at sports. But after trying heroin, he fell into addiction. Joe calls it a “cycle of stealing and doping.” “I felt bad, but I still did it,” he says.
Eventually he was even stealing from his own children to get high. "They would wake up two days after Christmas wondering where their toys were.”
After a sobering jail stint and at the push of deputies to get involved, Joe became a police informant.
The drug arrests are the culmination of months of police work, and Joe says working by their side has actually helped him stay clean.
"It feels good to know they're taking people off the streets. They put in a lot of work to do what they do.”
Joe tells 10TV that does have court cases coming up and worries about who he'll come into contact with behind bars. However he says he stands by his work with deputies, calling it worth his own risk to help others.