Authorities turn up the heat on opioid dealers

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Omaha Crimestoppers is chumming the waters for drug peddlers with an enhanced $5,000 reward.

That's the payday for tips leading to the arrests of opioid dealers.

The enhanced reward was announced at a news conference Wednesday morning.

The Omaha Crimestoppers Board of Directors has voiced concerns about the safety of the public as well as first responders who might encounter opioids, particularly fentanyl and the more potent form, carfentanyl.

“I have no doubt the promotion of this new enhanced reward will result in calls to Omaha Crimestoppers about dealers of opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanyl,” said Mark Langan, President of the Omaha Crimestoppers Board of Directors and former Omaha Police Department narcotics investigator.

David Kohll, president of Kohll’s Pharmacy and Home Care, said, “I had three burglaries and one gunpoint robbery over a 14-month period.”

The new initiative is designed to prevent such drastic actions to get opioids.

Langan said, “We’re not aware of any other Crime Stoppers program in the country that offers $5,000 enhanced reward for the arrest of opioid dealers and I stress the word arrest. This is not a conviction type situation. We’ll pay $5,000 if a tip comes in and a person’s arrested.”

Omaha police are working to get in front of the opioid problem. There are addicts and dealers in the city but it’s not as intense as in other parts of the country.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said, “The opioid crisis, as it goes across the country, a lot of times you’ll see where Omaha is sitting in the country - right in the middle. We’re oftentimes last to that party.”

Crime Stoppers hopes the enhanced reward will put dealers behind bars and keep opioids locked in David Kohlll’s safe until his patients need them.

Callers to Omaha Crimestoppers remain anonymous. Tips can be called into 402-444-STOP or by going to omahacrimestoppers.org.