Detroit dad runs drug trafficking operation with loaded guns, drugs hidden near children, police say

Lawrence McDaniel taken into custody

A local father is behind bars after running a drug trafficking ring inside his home

DETROIT – A Detroit father was running a drug trafficking operation out of his home, leaving a stash of loaded guns and drugs within reach of his young children, police said.

Robson Street is in a family friendly neighborhood in Detroit where children play in front yards and ride bicycles on sidewalks. But Lawrence Keith McDaniel, 35, was doing something inside his home on Robson Street that was dangerous and could have been deadly, according to police.

Lawrence Keith McDaniel (WDIV)

"He's conducting business there," former Assistant Detroit Police Chief Steve Dolunt said. "What he's not realizing is if he ticks off the wrong person, they could shoot that house up. (He's) thinking, 'Here's my perfect cover. I've got my girlfriend and the four kids. Who would think I'm dealing drugs?'"

According to McDaniel's sentencing memorandum, he ran a drug trafficking operation out of the home and had extremely dangerous weapons, putting the lives of his children and community at risk.

Police said when they busted into the home, they found an AK-47-style assault rifle loaded with 30 rounds under the couch in the living room, a stolen handgun in a bed frame, 100 rounds of ammunition upstairs, marijuana and cocaine.

A gun under a couch inside the home. (WDIV)
Police said an assault rifle loaded with 30 rounds was found under the couch in the living room. (WDIV)
Two handguns found inside the home. (WDIV)
One of the hidden weapons inside the home, according to police. (WDIV)

His children were living inside the home, police said. Officials said they saw bunk beds, a baby carrier and family pictures decorating the home.

"I question if this individual had the best interest of the kids when he had weapons lying around, drugs lying around, unsavory characters coming in and out," Dolunt said.

This wasn't McDaniel's first trouble with the law, officials said. The Local 4 Defenders have learned McDaniel had several prior drug-related felony convictions over the last 17 years.

McDaniel was prohibited by state and federal law enforcement agencies from possession firearms, according to authorities.

Now, McDaniel is behind bars serving a six-year sentence.

Residents in the neighborhood said they're relieved.

A home on Robon Street in Detroit where a father was allegedly dealing drugs. (WDIV)

"They don't want a dope house in their neighborhood," Dolunt said. "They don't want weapons in their neighborhood. They work for a living and they shouldn't be exposed to possible gunshots in their house, criminals coming around."

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.