Detroit -- Three men suspected of selling more than pop and potato chips from a party store in the city were arrested Tuesday evening as police seized more than $1.4 million worth of drugs.
An informant tipped a task force made up of Detroit police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted a shipment of drugs to the store about 5 p.m. Tuesday, said Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee.
Task force members found more than 700 grams of heroin with a street value of $1.4 million and 300 painkillers and 120 tranquilizer pills worth about $4,260. The task force also discovered eight guns and $18,000 in cash believed to have been generated by drug sales.
Godbee praised the task force's collaborative effort.
"We don't care how the bad guy goes down," Godbee said during a press conference this afternoon also attended by Detroit police narcotics officers and federal agents who were part of the task force. "We don't care who gets the credit."
The men taken into custody were released pending further investigation. Godbee said he expects to soon obtain not-in-custody arrest warrants for the men.
Godbee did not identify the men, but said one was a 41-year-old Farmington Hills resident and the other two men, ages 45 and 49 years old, live in West Bloomfield Township.
Police said the party store had been in business for several years but would not say how long they suspect drugs allegedly were part of the operation.
Godbee called the partnering historic because while there had been joint task forces in the past, they did not work this closely together.
"The collaborative effort is unprecedented," he said. "Under Mayor (Dave) Bing's leadership, he has given us the green light to work with federal agencies. If we don't work together, the criminals win."
Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News
August 05. 2010