Federal agents call it dialing for drugs.
And over the past few years, they said, the phone number they called
eventually led them to the Detroit Thug Lordz, a ring that used cell
phones and couriers to supply customers with cocaine and marijuana in
Advertisement The ring, which took drug orders over the phone, took a
major hit Friday when agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives arrested several people believed to be members.
[continues 162 words]
A 37-year-old Detroit man who sold the fentanyl-laced heroin that
killed a Birmingham high school junior and a Madison Heights man last
May was sentenced Thursday to 30 1/2 years in prison.
The sentence imposed on James E. Coleman by U.S. District Judge
Lawrence Zatkoff was at the top of the federal sentencing guidelines.
Coleman -- accused of selling the drugs that killed 17-year-old
Lauren Jolly and 30-year-old Daniel McElmurry -- pleaded guilty in
November to avoid a possible life sentence.
[continues 183 words]
DETROIT - A federal court jury Thursday acquitted eight Detroit police
officers of violating the constitutional rights of drug dealers, pimps and
Jurors said they didn't think prosecutors proved their case beyond a
reasonable doubt, and relied on questionable witnesses.
"Their witnesses scared the living bejeebers out of me," said one juror, a
67-year-old Detroit woman. Many witnesses admitted on the stand that they
were involved in drugs or prostitution.
"They're all criminals. They're hard to believe," said another juror, who
described herself as a 64-year-old Madison Heights real estate agent. She
said she doesn't know how Detroit can rid itself of crime without
aggressive police officers.
[continues 833 words]
Ten Detroit-area residents were among 20 people indicted nationally
for shipping 40 tons of Mexican marijuana to Detroit since 1991, the
government said Monday.
"This is one of the largest conspiracies involving marijuana that this
district has ever seen," U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Collins said at a news
conference. He said six of the defendants also were charged with
trying to buy the silence of three drug ring members by paying bribes
or their attorney fees.
The indictment, issued Thursday, identified the ringleaders as Allen
Ozdemir, 42, of Tucson, Ariz.; Dale Sokolov, 43, of Scottsdale, Ariz.,
and Harry Trubonis, 43, of Newark, N.J. The men allegedly acquired
marijuana from suppliers in Mexico and shipped it to Detroit.
Initially, the drugs were carried in cars, then heavy-duty pickups and
finally a moving van.
[continues 318 words]
Trial Is Under Way in Detroit Police Probe
A small-time drug dealer said in federal court Wednesday that two
Detroit police officers burst into his home without a warrant,
falsified reports and lied in court, causing him to be convicted on
bogus criminal charges.
"Officer Robo and Timothy Gilbert deliberately lied about me, busted
up my house, searching me and arresting me," Bruce Toney, 45, of
Detroit, told jurors on the second day of testimony in a trial for
eight Detroit police officers.
[continues 351 words]
2 Officers Are Accused of Planting Evidence and Lying in '01 Drug
Three current or former Detroit police officers offered testimony
Tuesday to show that two other officers lied about the circumstances
of the 2001 arrest of a drug dealer suspect.
The officers were questioned on the first day of testimony in the
trial of eight police officers accused of planting evidence,
falsifying reports and lying in court to justify the illegal arrests
of suspected drug dealers in southwest Detroit in 2000-2002.
[continues 421 words]
Detroit Officer May Help in Wider Corruption Case
A Detroit police officer pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor
charge Friday in what could be a major break in a Detroit police
Officer Hubert Brown, 37, admitted in a plea deal with federal
prosecutors that he deprived Tracy Marie Brown of her civil rights on
May 2, 2000, by writing a bogus police report to justify her false
arrest on drug charges.
Officer Brown, who is not related to the woman, also admitted lying at
the woman's preliminary examination. She was bound over for trial in
Wayne County Circuit Court, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18
months of probation.
[continues 376 words]
The Michigan Supreme Court has suspended a northern Michigan judge for six
months without pay after he admitted smoking pot while fining and jailing
others for the same conduct.
The high court issued the suspension Thursday, rejecting a 62-day suspension
that the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission had recommended in an agreement
with 86th District Court Judge Thomas Gilbert.
Gilbert's court serves Antrim, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. The tenure
commission proposed a 90 day suspension, but wanted to give Gilbert credit for
28 days he spent in a substance abuse program in Minnesota from Nov. 17-Dec.
[continues 250 words]
Police Are Suspected Of Rogue Conduct, Threats And Assaults
They dangled one man by his legs from a second-story window.
They threatened to kill a woman if she told anyone about the way they were
They stepped on the face of another woman with such force, they dislodged a
Prosecutors say these were not the acts of neighborhood gang members, but of
17 rogue Detroit police officers charged in a federal indictment Thursday.
The officers allegedly stole drugs, firearms and money from suspected drug
dealers during a two-year reign of terror on the city's southwest side.
[continues 1374 words]
Royal Oak Men Accused Of Date-Rape Substances
Two Royal Oak men were indicted Thursday in what federal authorities
described as an unprecedented attack on Internet trafficking of date-rape
Authorities arrested or indicted 155 people in 84 cities in the United
States and Canada, broke up four Internet drug rings and confiscated more
than $1 million in cash and property. They also confiscated 3,000 gallons of
date-rape drug materials -- enough to produce 25 million doses of
gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its derivatives. The action capped a
[continues 234 words]
A Pontiac district judge accused of judicial misconduct received more bad
news from the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission on Wednesday.
The agency added two more charges to its misconduct complaint against 50th
District Judge Christopher Brown. The commission said he violated the rights
of a Southfield man in a marijuana possession case in January and presided
over several landlord-tenant disputes involving his bailiff, Avery Hatchett,
who owns rental property in Pontiac.
Brown "has demonstrated a persistent and intentional disregard of his
ethical obligations despite these prior admonitions," the commission said in
its complaint, disclosing for the first time that it has warned Brown four
times from 1986 to 1996 about his behavior.
[continues 293 words]