Heroin suspect sought refuge in River Hills home

May 14, 2014

River Hills — An alleged drug dealer is accused of selling heroin to an undercover cop, leading police on a vehicle chase and then breaking in to a private home to escape the police.

Larry Pettigrew, 23, of Milwaukee, was arrested Friday morning after allegedly selling heroin to an undercover Ozaukee County Sheriff's deputy at a business near the intersection of Port Washington and Mequon Roads in Mequon. The Ozaukee County Sheriff's Drug Task Force had arranged three other undercover drug deals with Pettigrew over the last several weeks, said Lt. Rod Galbraith, who supervises the task force.

When police tried to detain Pettigrew in Mequon, he allegedly got in his car and led police on a chase down Interstate 43 to Good Hope Road, where he crashed into the median. Pettigrew allegedly fled southbound on foot and entered a home on Green Tree Road, prompting the homeowner to notify police. An arrest was made with cooperation from law enforcement officials from Glendale, Fox Point, River Hills and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department.

The Ozaukee County District Attorney's Office has charged Pettigrew with four counts of delivering heroin, as well as attempting to elude an officer, possessing heroin with intent to deliver, and possessing cocaine with intent to deliver. He is being held in Ozaukee County Jail on $75,000 cash bail.

Galbraith said the arrest is the latest arrest in the drug task force's effort to crack down on a growing heroin epidemic. In the week leading up to Pettigrew's arrest, Galbraith said the sheriff's office responded to four non-fatal heroin overdoses in Ozaukee County.

"It is hands-down the worst problem I think law enforcement has dealt with in the last 35 years," Galbraith said.

Galbraith said the large majority of thefts and burglaries in Ozaukee County stem from heroin addicts seeking money to support their addiction. Galbraith said the department will continue to make arrests with the hope of sending a message to drug traffickers in the Milwaukee area.

"The message we want to send is, if you bring heroin up to Ozaukee County, we're going to do everything we can to track you down and arrest you," he said.

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