Arrest warrants have been issued for some 18 people following a massive drug sting in Michigan. Multiple search warrants were executed, leading the U.S. District Court sitting in Grand Rapids to approve arrest warrants. So far, only some have been formally arrested for drug crimes, though the authorities believe they have tracked down the masterminds of the operation.
The investigation has been going on since spring 2016, with officers reporting the alleged drug ring appears to have circulated "kilogram level" quantities of heroin and cocaine throughout West Michigan. The authorities say they do not know who is supplying the alleged traffickers, but that they believe the drugs are coming via semi truck from the West Coast. The goal of the operation was to disrupt this alleged drug ring.
After 18 separate search warrants were executed, three hand guns, an assault rifle, a bullet proof vest and drug paraphernalia were seized. Apparently, $1 million in cash and more than 30 kilograms of what law enforcement described as cocaine and heroin were seized. Multiple pounds of what is believed to be marijuana were also recovered.
As of this report, some defendants have made preliminary court appearances, while four others are still being sought by law enforcement in Michigan. A sting operation of this size has many moving parts, with considerable responsibility on individual law enforcement officers to handle large bodies of paperwork and engage in high-risk, high-stress situations. This is partly why drug crimes are difficult to prosecute: if any steps were missed, leading to a violation of the rights of any of these individuals, it could cause a serious impediment to the government's case against one or more of them.
Source: hollandsentinal.com, "$1 million, narcotics seized in federal Grand Rapids drug bust", Audra Gamble, Sept. 5, 2017