(WJBK) - Detroit police are teaming up with the feds, sharing an office and the common goal to save lives by getting heroin, fentanyl and other deadly opioids off the streets.
The Heroin Response Group is a task force comprised of police officers, special agents and prosecutors on the local and federal level,
"For everybody that's peddling poison in the streets of Detroit, we're coming with every resource that ATF has to prosecute you - if you're armed with a firearm while selling this poison on the streets, that's the bottom line," said James Deir, ATF special agent in charge.
Law enforcement is sending a strong message to drug dealers Monday, as the Detroit Police Department formally announces a joint task created to fight opioid abuse in Detroit.
"When we look at opioid related deaths in Detroit - 383, that is what I call a crisis," said DPD Chief James Craig.
Compare that to the number of homicides in Detroit last year -- 267.
"In the old days if somebody died of a drug overdose that was just an overdose. We're doing something different now. Put up the caution tape, that's a murder. That's a drug delivery causing death, and that's how we're going to prosecute those cases," said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.
The heroin response team is also focused at getting heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl off the streets.
"Three little granules of carfentanyl can cause an overdose that leads to death," Craig said.
The response group is already seeing results. On January 10:
"Our DEA task force executed total of 6 simultaneous search warrants, yielding 992 grams of heroin - street value of $1.7 million," Craig said.
And investigators say that is just the beginning.
"We will find the biggest bang for our buck as it relates to your incarceration. Your days are limited," Dier said.