WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - A federal drug bust nabbed a trafficker and nearly six kilos of heroin that started in Texas and ended in Warren, Mich. Warren police worked with federal authorities to take the drugs off the street.
The recent undercover operation by the feds kept almost 13 pounds of heroin from hitting the streets of metro Detroit.
About 5.6 kilos of heroin was seized by police in a traffic stop in Texas, but police wanted more than just the driver. So, they replaced the real stuff with fake drugs and continued to the drop site - a hotel off Interstate 696 in metro Detroit in an attempt to find the distributor.
According to special agents, the exchange was supposed to take place in the parking lot at the Holiday Inn Express in Warren. Police set up surveillance and waited for the drop.
That was when the suspect, Maria Leyva, entered the picture.
Police say she first pulled into a Mobil across from the hotel, attempting to shake any possible police tail by pulling into the gas station next door.
Eventually, her F-150 pulled up and undercover agents brought out a brightly-colored bag of full of fake heroin.
From there she drove five miles to a Kmart in St. Clair Shores and went back and forth between hotel and hotel down the street. Police say, again, it’s another attempt to shake them.
Ultimately, Leyva was arrested and housed in Warren where she told police she was paid $5,000 to transport the package. The mayor of Warren says this speaks to a larger issue in the community.
"Heroin has now surpassed auto accidents as the number one leading cause of accidental death nationwide," he said. "As for Warren, we are in the teens, between 13 and 15 deaths from heroin. Our previous highs were nine and seven in the years past."
As for who that package was intended for, Leyva told investigators she was supposed to meet that person at the hotel in St. Clair Shores. That person never showed and the case is still open.
Leyva now faces federal trafficking charges.