57ºF

3 suspected southern drug dealers accused of traveling north to murder 2 Detroit men

Robert Eddins, Ricardo McFarlin murdered in Detroit

Three men are accused of traveling from Birmingham to Detroit and murdering two men. (WDIV)
Three men are accused of traveling from Birmingham to Detroit and murdering two men. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Three men from the southern United States charged in a drug conspiracy are accused of traveling to Detroit and murdering two men, officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Michael DeAngelo Griffin, 34, of Birmingham, Alabama; Clifton Dennis Epps, 30, of Amory, Mississippi; and Mariano Lozoya Garcia, 47, of Brownsville, Texas, are accused in the murders of Robert James Eddins IV and Ricardo Denard McFarlin, both of Detroit.

Officials said Griffin, Epps and Garcia traveled from Birmingham to Detroit with the intent to harm Eddins, and in the course of doing so, killed Eddins and McFarlin with a firearm on Dec. 20, 2016.

The trio is charged with interstate travel with intent to kill, injure or harass; interstate travel in aid of unlawful activity; heroin and cocaine distribution; and firearms offenses.

"Combating the scourge of drug trafficking and the violence that comes with it is a major priority of the Metro Detroit law enforcement community," United States Attorney Matthew Schneider said. "The collaborative efforts and excellent work of DPD, FBI, MSP and DEA have culminated in this indictment today. We hope to bring justice for the families of the deceased men and dismantle all organizations that spread these deadly poisons in our neighborhoods."

"The FBI is at its best when working in concert with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners," Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division of the FBI Jeffery E. Peterson said. "As reflected in this investigation and the indictment unsealed today, the collective efforts of Detroit's law enforcement community to combat organized drug trafficking -- and the heinous crimes associated with it -- is a top priority for our men and women of law enforcement. This investigation reflects our daily dedication and hard work to bring justice to the violent offenders who wreak havoc on our neighborhoods, and to protect the residents of southeast Michigan."

"The murders of Eddin and McFarlin are just another example of how violence is intertwined with drug trafficking," Special Agent Timothy Plancon said. "The DEA will continue to target violent offenders in an effort to make our communities safer and drug-free."

"We have learned in law enforcement that crime has no boundaries." Michigan State Police Capt. Thomas Deasy said. "It is through working with our local and federal partners that we are able to take violent criminals off the street and protect not only the citizens of Michigan, but across the county."


About the Author: