DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit police scored a massive drug bust on the city's east side. The operation was hiding in plain sight less than two miles from DPD's 5th Precinct.
After police conducted a surveillance operation and two undercover buys, they saw enough to get warrants and shut it down. Two brothers from West Bloomfield are now behind bars.
Lt. Jonathan Parnell, who leads the Detroit Police Department's Narcotics Division, says his team conducted the raid on E. Warren near Conner and found about $50,000 worth of marijuana inside the non-descript, unlicensed dispensary Monday, after investigating a tip and complaints from residents.
Detroit Police elaborated on Tuesday that the total street value of the drugs confiscated was nearly $17 million. Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood told us more than 34 kilos of combined cocaine, heroin, MDMA, and marijuana were confiscated. In addition to those known drugs, Detroit Police also confiscated 11.5 kilos of an undetermined substance, we're told.
"There was customer after customer, young, old, male, female, black, white," Parnell said of the residents' complaints. "Transactions were taking place here and that money was being taken next door to a check cashing place. And upon execution of the search warrant, that's when we made the discovery of cocaine and suspected fentanyl."
Parnell says they're now testing roughly a dozen large jars for what they suspect is fentanyl. Drug dealers mix the substance with heroin to stretch their supply and profits. It's a deadly practice fueling the opioid epidemic. Many overdoses are traced back to fentanyl laced heroin.
"A lot of the fentanyl is coming from China and Mexico, but now that it can be purchased on the internet it really can come from anywhere," Parnell said.
Police also raided the brothers' West Bloomfield homes, seizing vehicles and nearly $300,000 in cash. Neighbors are stunned.
"They're not operating these businesses in their communities, they're operating these businesses within the city of Detroit," says Parnell. "Suspects who want to conduct their businesses within the city of Detroit, which jeopardizes the city, which affects crime, and then take their proceeds back to their residences in Oakland County."
This is still a local case but Detroit Police says it could get the feds involved, especially if those tests come back positive for fentanyl.