August 29, 2011

STING Officers raid suspected drug house, discover “One Pot” Methamphetamine Lab.


On Monday, August 29th, 2011, STING Officers were investigating suspected methamphetamine trafficking in Grayling Township, Crawford County.  Early Tuesday morning, August 30th, 2011, STING Officers, assisted by Deputies from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at a residence and discovered evidence of at least 2 “One Pot” meth cooks.   Methamphetamine precursors were also located, along with other drug paraphernalia.


Two adults and 3 minor children were at the trailer when the search warrant was served.  It was learned that a 3rd person had left the trailer just prior to officers arriving.  The adults, a husband and wife, were arrested and lodged at the Crawford County Jail.  Both are charged with “Manufacture Methamphetamine” and “Operating/Maintaining A Laboratory In The Presence Of A Minor”.  Both are 20 year felonies.


The 3 minor children, ages 8, 9 and 11, were removed from the residence.  They were taken to Grayling Mercy Hospital for a precautionary examination as it was believed they may have been present during the methamphetamine “cooking” process.  Children Protective Services was contacted and petitioned for the temporary placement of the children with a relative, pending a hearing in Family Court.


Later Tuesday morning, The Crawford Animal Control Officer was at the trailer removing a dog.  The ACO reported seeing a male subject leaving the trailer; this subject was questioned by a STING Officer.  It was learned that this subject was the 3rd person; he had fled the trailer and hid in the woods.  While hiding, he fell from a tree and dislocated his shoulder and fractured bones in his back.  He was taken into custody by the STING Officer with assistance from the Sheriff’s Department, transported to Grayling Mercy Hospital, treated and then lodged at the Crawford County Jail.  He was charged with “Manufacture Methamphetamine” and “Operating/Maintaining A Laboratory In The Presence Of A Minor”.


STING was assisted by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office and the MSP 7th District Meth Response Team.

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July 2011



A month long investigation conducted by officers from the STIKE TEAM INVESTIGATIVE NARCOTICS GROUP (STING) and agents from the DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION (DEA) has resulted in the seizure of an estimated 3,500 marijuana plants.


In July, 2011, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer was alerted by a hunter to a location in Backus Township, Roscommon County, where marijuana plants were growing.  The Conservation Officer checked the location and determined it was a large scale grow operation.  Due to the size and scope, DNR officials requested assistance with the investigation.


STING officers and DEA agents from the Saginaw Field Office then began an investigation into the persons responsible.  A lead was developed in the Detroit area.  DEA agents from the Detroit Office secured a search warrant for a residence in the City of Detroit.  Evidence was located within the home that directly linked the occupants with the grow operation in Roscommon County.   4 persons were taken into custody and the case will be presented to the United States Attorney for prosecution.


Large scale drug trafficking organizations, or DTO’s, are becoming more common place in northern Michigan.  Because of the amount of state and federal forest, they can go undetected.  Large amounts of trash, chemical fertilizers and insecticides are routinely used and discarded on public land.  In addition, hundreds if not thousands of trees are destroyed to facilitate the grow operation.  In many cases, illegal immigrants are used to develop the grow site and cultivate the plants.  In some cases the DTO’s have direct links large foreign drug cartels.  Members associated to the cartel’s have become increasingly violent and will go to great extremes to protect their million dollar crops, including booby traps, improvised explosive devices and armed guards.  Because of this, their presence on public lands presents a direct threat to the citizens of the state.

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For Immediate Release                                                               


March 6, 2009                                                                   




WASHINGTON – Communities eligible for crime control and prevention funding provided in the recently passed economic recovery package were announced Friday by the White House.  U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D‑Menominee) outlined the counties and cities across Michigan ’s First Congressional District set to receive a total of $127,712 through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program.


“The Byrne JAG program directly supports state and local law enforcement agencies in combating violent crime and the spread of illegal drugs,” Stupak said.  “As our local law enforcement agencies confront layoffs as a result of budget shortfalls it is important that we provide this funding to keep cops on the street in our communities.”


Michigan law enforcement agencies will receive $67 million from the Byrne JAG program funding in the economic recovery legislation.  Of that total, $41.2 million will go to statewide law enforcement agencies and the remaining $25.8 million will be awarded to cities and counties, including $127,712 for the First District.  Localities receiving funding in the First Congressional District are:


          City of Alpena $24,838

          City of Sault Ste. Marie $19,467

          Oscoda Township $12,587

          City of Marquette $11,412

          Arenac County $13,929

          Charlevoix County $10,237

          Crawford County $12,083


          FIRST DISTRICT TOTAL    $127,712


The Byrne JAG Program, administered by U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and improve the criminal justice system. JAG funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and  information systems for criminal justice for any one or more of the following purpose areas: law enforcement programs; prosecution and  court programs; prevention and education programs; corrections and  community corrections programs; drug treatment programs; and planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs.





Friday, March 6, 2009



COLUMBUS , OHIO – President Barack Obama today announced $2 billion in Recovery Act 2009 funding allocations for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, including more than $67 million for the state of Michigan . The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives. The breakdown of JAG allocation amounts for Michigan state and local governments can be viewed here:


“These funds are a vital component in our effort to not just revive our economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity and security,” President Obama said. “By keeping police officers on the streets whose jobs were threatened by budget cuts and ensuring states and municipalities have the tools and equipment necessary to fight crime, this money will simultaneously help jumpstart the American economy and protect our citizens.”


The procedure for allocating JAG grants is based on a formula of population and violent crime statistics, in combination with a minimum allocation to ensure that each state and territory receives an appropriate share of funding.  Sixty percent of the allocation is awarded directly to a state and 40 percent is set aside for units of local governments.  Funding will be used by states and more than 5000 local communities to enhance their ability to protect communities and combat crime.


The Recovery Act includes more than $4 billion to assist state, local and tribal law enforcement and for other criminal and juvenile justice activities that help to prevent crime and improve the criminal justice system in the United States while supporting the creation of jobs and much needed resources for states and local communities.





Search warrant yields large quantity of marijuana

Gaylord Herald Times


Deputies, detectives from STING (Strike Team Investigative Narcotics Group) and troopers from the Houghton Lake Michigan State Police post executed two search warrants Sunday at two Beaver Creek Township residences, which Sheriff Kirk Wakefield said turned up approximately three pounds of marijuana.


The warrants were executed simultaneously and in addition to marijuana, investigators reportedly seized distribution materials and weapons.  No arrests were made at the time of the searches and the investigation is ongoing and multiple felony counts for several Crawford County residents are expected to be sought once the investigation is completed.




STING pot busts yield plants worth $200,000

By Jason Ogden, Oscoda Press


SHERMAN TWP. - Strike Team Investigative Narcotics Group (STING) officers thwarted the harvest of more than $200,000 worth of marijuana plants found growing in various locations in Iosco County on Aug. 19.  The operation also netted a suspected drug manufacturer, according to Lt. Jeff Keister, commander of STING.  


Keister said the plots or “marijuana gardens” were found during an aircraft survey of the county, which began Aug. 18.  Police were also tipped to some of the locations.  Three different locations were raided, netting 17 plants in the Sand Lake area; 171 plants in Plainfield Township, valued at $100,000; and 186 plants outside a private residence in Sherman Township, with a street value of $110,000, he said.


According to Keister, the street value estimates are conservative.  A suspect has been identified and linked to the plants growing at the Sherman Township location, but his identity will not be released until warrants are issued and he is taken into custody. This could take more than a month, Keister said, as the plants need to be tested first.


“This was part of Operation DCE/SP,” Keister explained. “We use fixed wing aircraft and helicopters and fly around. This is how we find it. Once we spot it, we have probable cause to go on the property.”  Keister said, in the case of the Sherman bust, the suspect’s residence was searched, with evidence found which has led the authorities to believe this was an in-home growing operation. This means that the plants were started from seed indoors, then transplanted when weather conditions were right. Among the items seized were grow lights, planting equipment, as well as materials used to package marijuana for sale. Sixteen long guns were also found in the residence.


Keister said police do not have a suspect for the marijuana plot in Plainfield Township, which was growing on state land, but said it was well tended.  “My experience is, because these plants are so tall, six or seven foot, they could not have been started in the ground unless they were highly fertilized; they were started indoors,” he said.


Keister explained that often growers will simply throw marijuana seeds in a location and come back in hopes the unattended seeds grew. This is not the case in Plainfield.  The plants found in all three seizures would have been ready for harvest within 30 days. Keister said, depending on the potency of the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in the plants, the growers could have gotten anywhere from $500 to $1,200 per pound.  An average plant could have yielded at least a pound of product.  The potency of the product will be determined at a university laboratory.


STING was assisted in the operation by the U.S. Forest Service, troopers from the East Tawas Michigan State Police Post, also the Michigan National Guard.  The investigation into these and other growing operations is ongoing.  Anyone with information can help stamp out illegal drugs by contacting STING at 989-345-2304 or by providing information to a local police department.


Keister said the unidentified suspect could be charged with felony manufacturing of drugs and maintaining a drug house. In addition, his assets can be seized and potentially forfeited.