Authorities in southern Maryland have charged eight people with murder in connection to eight drug overdose deaths.
Gov. Larry Hogan attended a news conference on Wednesday in Leonardtown, Maryland, where local authorities in St. Mary's County announced the indictments.
The Republican governor says investing in prevention and treatment can only work if the state eliminates the threat posed by drug traffickers across the state.
Hogan noted that more than 2,000 people died from overdoses last year.
Last week, the state health department released numbers that show fatal drug overdoses in Maryland continue to climb at an alarming rate.
From January through March, there were 550 overdose-related deaths in the state. That's a 37-percent increase over the 401 overdose-related deaths in the same period last year.