In researching the heroin trade for its episode on Baltimore, producers of Drugs Inc. followed the Harford County Task Force and its activities in combating drugs.
Task force members trailed a man through Baltimore City, where he made several stops. Once back in Harford County and suspecting that he had picked up his supply to sell locally, task force members stopped him and searched his car. While they found no signs of dealing or distribution, police did find drug paraphernalia and suspected drug residue in his car. He was not, however, charged.
The arrest and search were filmed by the Drugs Inc. crew.
"You guys like 'Drugs Inc.' or something? Really? That's pretty cool because I watch 'Drugs Inc.' a lot," the man says to the police.
An admitted addict, the man also says: "It's as easy to get drugs as it is to get a pack of cigarettes at the gas station. That's anywhere around here."
He started out on prescription drugs but explains, "It's cheaper to get heroin, you know, and that's just, it's a terrible thing, no pun intended, but it's more bang for your buck."
"It's not like we ever choose this life, it's not like we wanna live like this, you know," he said. "It's just not worth it."
The man's story is like a lot of others in Harford County, ones the task force deals with every week, if not every day, Dunbar said, like the woman who was the target of another task force investigation featured in the TV program.
"Drugs Inc." crews filmed a confidential informant setting up a drug deal with her, which police then used that as probable cause to raid her apartment, where several other customers were waiting to buy drugs.
Also an admitted addict, the woman said she began dealing for the money.
"What people make in a 40-hour paycheck, I can make in three or four hours selling. And then who wouldn't want that money. Make 300 working 40 hours, I make 300 working two hours. It's the money," she says on the TV show.
She was charged with two felonies in that arrest and is awaiting sentencing, Dunbar said.
What drug is next?
One of the biggest challenges the task force faces is trying to determine what next trend is in drug use.
It was prescription drugs, now it's heroin, but what's the next trend?
"One of the things we're looking at is a synthetic drug, that they'll come out with something that mimics the high of an opiate," Dunbar said.
In the meantime, he said, they have to do their best to control what they know about, to keep the number of overdose deaths down.
"That's our main objective, as law enforcement," he said, "the preservation of life."