Feds say Metro Detroit businessman financed drug ring prior to 2018 fatal plane crash

CEO Marty Tibbitts allegedly wired $1 million to fund drug ring, court documents say

Feds say local businessman killed in 2018 plane crash was funding drug ring

Inside a new court filing, Grosse Pointe Park CEO Marty Tibbitts was allegedly involved in an international drug trafficking ring prior to his death in 2018.

Documents state that Tibbitts allegedly helped finance a ring being run by a man named Ylli Didani, wiring more than $1 million to fund the ring, which spanned from South America to Southern Europe.

Investigators said they tracked Didani over several years dating back to 2015 -- Photos show Didani with weapons, another of a duffel bag believed to have cocaine and another showing piles of money reportedly meant for laundering with an address in Fraser.

READ: Inside the case against Harper Woods man accused of using elaborate disguises to steal money

Tibbitts was the CEO of Clementine Live Answering Service in Harper Woods until his sudden death. An avid pilot and aviation enthusiast often working with children, he was killed in a place crash in Wisconsin.

Court documents alleged that before his death, Tibbitts was living a double life. The drug ring was working with him to develop underwater trafficking gadgets including an underwater drone, known as the torpedo, that would use magnets to attach itself to commercial ships to travel filled with drugs across the Atlantic.

After Tibbitts’ death, the drug ring was forced to find other funding and eventually stopped work on the torpedo and began shipping cocaine in cargo ships and boxes of bananas with a new backer until Didani was caught.

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About the Author:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.