3 arrested in raid targeting drug trafficking to northern Michigan

- Police say they raided several Detroit-area homes as part of a multi-year investigation into a drug trafficking ring from Metro Detroit to the Traverse City area.

The ring allegedly moved heroin and cocaine from metro Detroit to the Traverse City area.

State police say a woman described as the "main suspect" was taken into custody at a home in Harper Woods, along with two other people. So far, cocaine, marijuana and heroin were seized along with firearms and financial transaction devices.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw says other homes and Traverse City-area suspects were targeted.

One resident who lives on Washtenaw Street in harper Woods said the neighborhood was woken up by the Michigan State Police conducting the raid.

"I woke up to the sound of State Police cars, it was probably about five of them out there. It was a state police horn. State Police. Search Warrant. State Police. Search warrant. It went off for like a half hour," the anonymous resident said.

The raid happened around 6:30 a.m. as police raided that home and three others: one in Oak Park and two in Detroit.

It's part of a large drug ring, police say, that involved selling cocaine, heroin, and prostitution. MSP Lt. Mike Shaw said it was organized in Metro Detroit but that the accused made most of their money up north in the Traverse City area.

"If you're looking at the Detroit area, a gram of heroin is probably about a hundred dollars. You get up to Northern Michigan, you're looking at 240, maybe three hundred dollars a gram so you can see the margin there," Shaw said.

Missaukee County Sheriff Jim Bosscher said in past years, the drugs would be picked up in the Detroit area and brought them to his county. He says that's all changed now.

"And now Traverse City has become what we call a source city. The drugs will come in there and spread out to the other Northern areas. So it's had a huge impact. We can tie at least one of the heroin overdoses we've had up north to this," Bosscher said.

Police arrested four people including a woman in Metro Detroit, and several other low level drug dealers have been arrested up north. The arrests were made after a five-year investigation and Shaw says they believe they've caught the ringleader: a woman who was a key player.

"I wouldn't call her the head of the operation, but if she's not, then she knows who is," Shaw said.

The anonymous resident who lives on washtenaw street says there have been different tenants renting this house in the past three years, and he hopes he doesn't see a repeat of criminal activity.

"I was born and raised in this neighborhood. So it's kind sorrel, it's sad to hear that going on."

Police say the four people arrested in the metro area will be taken up north to face trial.

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