Seven Men Indicted in Heroin Distribution Conspiracy
An indictment charging seven Detroit-area men with conspiracy to distribute heroin was unsealed this morning, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.
Joining McQuade in the announcement was David Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joseph Reagan, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Corrigan O’Donahue, Royal Oak Police Department and Chief Timothy Collins, Ferndale Police Department.
Albert Street, 34, Floyd Shaw, 20, Chris Coleman, 38, Andre Little, 37, Devon Street, 21, James White, 22, and Carlos Cozart, 24, were charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin. Cozart is from Hamtramck. The other defendants are from Detroit.
In addition, Coleman and Shaw were charged with distribution of heroin resulting in serious bodily injury. The victims involved survived the overdoses because they were revived by paramedics. The law defines serious bodily injury as one that involves a substantial risk of death, and carries a mandatory penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment if convicted.
Little was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Since April, federal, state and local agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations, Oakland County Gang and Violent Crime Task Force, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Royal Oak Police Department, Southfield Police Department, Bloomfield Township Police Department, Troy Police Department, Waterford Police Department, Ferndale Police Department, Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police, and several other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, have conducted a rigorous investigation into this heroin drug trafficking organization that has territories in Detroit expanding from Six Mile Road to Eight Mile Road, including the Woodward Corridor, and beyond.
This indictment stems from numerous search warrants that were executed on July 21 in Wayne and Oakland counties, in an effort to combat the heroin epidemic. As a result of those search warrants, law enforcement officers seized a substantial quantity of heroin.
The investigation and prosecution in this case are part of Project HOPE (Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement), the U.S. Attorney’s district-wide initiative to combat the epidemic of heroin use and overdoses.
“The heroin epidemic that has resulted in so many overdose deaths in our region calls for us to step up enforcement of heroin distribution to save lives,” McQuade said. “We are tackling this problem from all sides—prevention, treatment and enforcement.”
Special Agent in Charge Gelios stated, “The levels of cooperation and teamwork demonstrated in this investigation between the FBI and all the agencies are exceptional. The availability of heroin and other deadly drugs are a threat to our communities. Today’s operations demonstrate the commitment of the United Staets Attorney’s Office and the law enforcement community to respond in a coordinated fashion.”
Royal Oak Police Chief O’Donahue stated, “These arrests represent the great teamwork of law enforcement agencies on all levels. Heroin use is on the rise and it is a problem that affects every community. All the officers, agents, and deputies involved in this case are to be commended for their work.”
“Oakland County has witnessed heroin-related deaths double in recent years. The effect that this illegal drug has had on our communities and families has been devastating,” said Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard. “The cooperation of both local and federal agencies involved in this operation are to be commended for putting away these dangerous criminals. The Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to continuing to combat drug trafficking in Oakland County and we will be relentless in our pursuit.”
Ferndale Police Chief Timothy Collins stated, “Ferndale has experienced a large increase in heroin overdoses over the past year, and it has been impacted by the appearance of Fentenyl. I am grateful for the combined response of the local, state and federal partners who came together to help manage this problem in the metro area.”
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This investigation was lead by the FBI Oakland County Violent Gang and Violent Crime Task Force in partnership with the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Detroit Police Department, Royal Oak Police Department, Ferndale Police Department, and the FBI Violent Gang Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick E. Corbett and Eric Doeh.