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Post Office Drug Package Leads Authorities To Uncover California To Detroit Cocaine-Heroin Pipeline: Prosecutors

September 2, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Post Office Drug Package Leads Authorities To Uncover California To Detroit  Cocaine-Heroin Pipeline: Prosecutors

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LANSING – A package at the Okemos post office with nearly two kilos of heroin led police to discover in March that an apartment in Haslett was being used to move drugs from California to Detroit, according to an asset forfeiture case.

The case was filed in June in Ingham County Circuit Court by the Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which moved for the seizure of $112,694 and two cell phones.

The filing details how federal and local law enforcement officials found the drugs and investigated their intended destination and recipient, who police believe has returned to California, to the state where the drug cartel he was working for is based.

The man the package was headed to cooperated with authorities. According to the filing, he told police he worked for a drug cartel and was paid $3,000 for every kilo of cocaine or heroin he transported to Detroit. He would get a package in the mail and drive to a location in Detroit, and would also pick up money in Detroit and mail it to California, according to the filing.

A Circuit Court judge granted a Prosecutor’s Office motion on Aug. 12 to send a second summons to the man. For the money to be taken through Michigan’s asset forfeiture law, the prosecution has to prove that the money or property is related to a crime. As a result, the man can argue that it wasn’t connected to a crime.

In March, a U.S. Postal Service inspector contacted the Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad after the Okemos Post Office received a package suspected to contain drugs.

The drug task force set up a controlled test of the package with a drug-sniffing dog named Lighting. Three similar-sized packages were placed on a table in a conference room in the task force’s office along with the suspect package.

Lighting gave the indication for drugs in the suspect package and a federal search warrant was obtained. The package was opened up, revealing two large packages heavily wrapped in dryer sheets, with one inside a heat-sealed bag and the other inside clear cellophane wrap.

Task force members cut into the packages and smelled a “strong, sour, vinegar-like smell” that they said is indicative of heroin. The brown powder tested positive for heroin.

The two packages had a total of 1,929.2 grams.

The drug task force set controlled delivery on the destination. Postal workers had identified the man from previous interactions when he asked about a package he was expecting.

A postal worker delivered the package and drug task force set up surveillance on the apartment. The man parked his SUV in front of the apartment shortly after the delivery. The package was left by the door and the man walked into the apartment but didn’t take the package inside.

Over the next hour or so, law enforcement watched as the man drove or walked around the apartment complex, re-entered the apartment and looked at the package without picking it up or taking it inside.

When he left the apartment complex he was stopped and detained by the task force for questioning. The man consented to a search of the apartment and his SUV, where police found priority mail stickers and boxes, in addition to money and a cellphone.

The man took police to a Lansing home where he gave them 223 grams of marijuana and $23,000 he had in a red, plastic bag.

He also took police to Detroit where he picked up a backpack with three large packages of money in it, which he said was for three kilos of drugs and supposed to be $30,000 each. The backpack had $89,020, according to court records.

Detroit Free Press

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