Laramie County Sheriff Danny Glick says illegal immigrants are carrying heroin into the United States from Mexico, with deadly results.

The sheriff says there has "been an uptick" locally and across the country in heroin use, in part because prescription painkillers have gotten more expensive on the street.

Heroin, which has many similar effects but is even stronger, has by comparison gotten cheaper and easier to get, according to the sheriff.

Glick says because many heroin users don't have much experience with that drug and because heroin is an especially dangerous drug the result is deaths from heroin overdoses.

The sheriff says there have been heroin deaths in Laramie County, adding in some parts of the country the problem has "become an epidemic".

Sheriff Glick says the illegal immigration component comes into play because many of those crossing the border with Mexico are forced to become ''drug mules" who carry drugs with them as they enter the U.S.

The sheriff says drugs entering the country from Mexico have been "a thorn in our side for a long time", but says the situation has gotten particularly bad recently because of the increase in heroin trafficking and the resulting overdose deaths.