Local neighbors taking on alleged drug dealers to stop heroin overdoses in their community

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(March 9, 2016) -- A group of neighbors is fighting the heroin epidemic head on and going face to face with the person they say is selling heroin in their neighborhood. They got fed up after another loved one died following a heroin overdose this weekend.

"There's been so many that we love and care about die from this that we just couldn't take it anymore," said Ben Kunkler who grew up in the Ravenswood neighborhood.

Flowers, old photos and sweet messages were displayed in remembrance of Jessica Earl, 29, who was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon.

"She'd been battling. Was clean up until seven months ago and had a relapse and we lost her," said Kunkler.

And that's when members of the Ravenswood neighborhood on Indy's north side said it was time to take action. Marching to the home down the block where they say someone is selling heroin.

"We find out from one neighbor that he's been finding syringes on the corner of his property and he has three small children and it's one block from here," said Kunkler.

The neighborhood association contacted police but this group felt compelled to fight for the place they call home and take it back from suspected drug dealers.

"If they know all of us are standing together to overcome this they know they're not going to be able to get away with criminal activity. Bottom line. And I believe it's our duty as citizens," said Kunkler.

The group says they peacefully approached the neighbor following Jessica's death. "And the man told us he wasn't hurting anyone and it really wasn't our business," said Kunkler.

But they won't quit fighting until the streets of Ravenswood are free from heroin.

"Where this house is concerned we are not going to stop. We're going to be there every Saturday until something is done," said Kunkler.

The U.S. Senate is on track to pass a bipartisan bill this week that would provide federal grants to states and local governments to combat the national epidemic of heroin addiction and prescription painkiller abuse.