Keys man busted with heroin, could be sign of larger problem

A Key West man who set up camp in his pickup truck in a Key West neighborhood found himself behind bars Monday for allegedly having heroin and two syringes used to inject it.

Heroin arrests are rare in the Keys but "now that the pill mills are gone," there's been a slight uptick, says Key West Police Department spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

Indeed, suspect Karl Pasch, 36, reportedly told arresting officer Cynthia Williams that "it was cheaper to purchase heroin [nowadays] than prescription narcotics."

Williams wrote in her report that about 8:10 p.m., dispatch received a call about a man camping in a red 1993 Chevrolet pickup for three days just outside the fence of the Poinciana apartment complex at 19th Street and Paula Avenue. When she got there, she saw Pasch with "miscellaneous personal property" lying on the grass. Pasch, after seeing the officer, started tossing his stuff into the truck bed.

Williams wrote that Pasch then rushed her "in a determined and concerning manner, almost not giving me a chance to exit my vehicle." She told Pasch to lie on the ground, which he did. He was "sweating profusely, speaking rapidly and breathing heavy."

A K-9 unit was called in and a search of the truck resulted in the discovery of .3 grams of heroin plus the two used syringes. Pasch was charged with felony drug possession and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Tuesday, he remained in jail with no bond allowed.

That's likely due to his record. Since 2001 in Monroe County, Pasch has been charged with 18 crimes, including felony sale of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of cocaine. Many of his charges are for violating community control.