Patrick McNamara/The Explorer, Oro Valley police last week arrested two men suspected of dealing drugs. Officers confiscated 100 grams of heroin, $7,500 in cash and two pistols from the suspects. To date in 2009, Oro Valley police have taken more than 278 grams of heroin from suspected dealers and users.

In an indication that the demand for illegal drugs remains strong in the Northwest, Oro Valley Police have arrested two men carrying 100 grams of heroin.

Officers with the Oro Valley Community Action Team arrested Cesar Meza, 21, and Vladimir Cardenas, 20, on Thursday, Sept. 17.

"We were able to locate Valdimir and initiated surveillance on him," Oro Valley Police Sgt. Mike McBride said. "During the course of our surveillance, he met with his supplier."

McBride said police followed Vladimir to the parking lot of a video store near La Cañada Drive and River Road, where they saw a suspected drug transaction take place.

Once the deal ended, police moved in and arrested Cardenas. Other officers followed Meza to a nearby apartment complex where he too was arrested.

Police estimate the drugs had a street value of more than $6,000.

In addition to the drugs, police confiscated two handguns and $7,500 in cash from the men.

To date in 2009, Oro Valley police have confiscated 278 grams of heroin from suspected drug dealers and users.

Police took 97 grams of heroin from suspects in 2008.

Since 2008, at least three Northwest teenagers have died from drug overdoses. The teens died after taking methadone, a drug similar to heroin that is often used to treat heroin addicts. Some addicts also use methadone in lieu of heroin.

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