Warren police bust drug ring selling cocaine laced with fentanyl
They believe the three taken into custody are the leaders of a ring selling cocaine laced with fentanyl that has killed three people in Warren. Jermaine Tate, 38, has been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Nathaniel Clark, 32, as been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, three counts of delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Terry Jamal Gaskins, 34, has been charged with conducting criminal enterprise, three counts of delivery/manufacturing fentanyl and three counts of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture fentanyl. Authorities said they’ve been distributing cocaine laced with fentanyl, cut down to make a larger profit.
Michigan receives $80M in federal funding to respond to ongoing opioid crisis
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan has received $80 million in federal funding to respond to the ongoing opioid crisis. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Michigan Opioids Task Force made the announcement Monday. READ: Survey: Opioid misuse decreases, serious mental illness increases among AmericansThe funding includes $36.4 million from the new State Opioid Response II (SOR II) grant and $43.1 million from an extension of the current State Opioid Response I (SOR I) grant. “The opioid epidemic has devastated families across Michigan, and we must continue to do everything we can to end it. “I will continue working closely with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and members of the Michigan Opioids Task Force to keep Michiganders safe.”The SOR II grant begins Sept. 30 and continues for two years.
Justice Department: 179 arrested in darknet opioid takedown
WASHINGTON – Law enforcement officials arrested 179 people and seized more than $6.5 million in a worldwide crackdown on opioid trafficking on the darknet, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday. As part of the initiative, law enforcement officials seized over $6.5 million in cash and virtual currency, in addition to 500 kilograms of drugs, the Justice Department said. About 275 kilograms of drugs, including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and other opioids, had been seized in the U.S. The Justice Department said its investigation was ongoing and investigators were still working to identify other individuals behind darknet accounts. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the takedown showed “there will be no safe haven for drug dealing in cyberspace.”More: National news
Roseville police responding to overdoses will now offer recovery teams
ROSEVILLE, Mich. – The Roseville Police Department announced a plan to reach out to people struggling with addiction and get them on the road to recovery. Police said they’re seeing so many overdoses in Roseville homes, from heroin, pills and other drugs that families are stocking Narcan in the home themselves. READ: Michigan health officials to provide free naloxone to organizations, individualsThere’s a new strategy for police when they arrive at the scene of an overdose. Instead of arresting, they offer up recovery teams from the group “Families Against Narcotics.” The group is led by retired Clinton Township judge Linda Davis. The program is in Taylor, Bay City and there’s a wait list of towns wanting to join in.
‘McDonald’s for drugs': Leader of massive Detroit drug operation sentenced to 30 years in prison
DETROIT – The leader of a massive heroin, crack cocaine, and fentanyl operation in Detroit is headed to prison for 30 years. Officials said Demarco Tempo, who goes by Polo, was called “a McDonald’s for drugs” by former customers. Authorities said an investigation into a rash of non-fatal fentanyl overdoses and a fatal overdose in Warren led to an investigation in 2016. According to authorities, Tempo’s organization was selling heroin mixed with fentanyl, and sometimes just fentanyl, to people. Many of them were convicted on numerous charges related to distribution, conspiracy to distribute and other charges related to overdoses.
Metro Detroit physicians found guilty of defrauding Medicare, prescribing unnecessary opioids
WASHINGTON – Four Metro Detroit physicians were found guilty of health care fraud for their roles in a scheme to administer unnecessary back injections to patients in exchange for prescriptions of medically unnecessary opioids. “These physicians subjected patients to medically unnecessary injections to reap millions in fraudulent billings. While working at Tri-County they engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare of over $150 million by billing for medically unnecessary facet joint injections, unnecessary urinary drug screens, home health and more. Those patients were forced to submit to unnecessary facet injections for the prescription. Officials said they provided prescriptions for narcotics, including opioids and benzodiazepines, as an incentive to patients who received the injections.
Michigan sues opioid distributors, likening them to drug dealers
LANSING, Mich. – The State of Michigan filed a landmark lawsuit against opioid distributors, likening them to drug dealers. Four distributors are named in the lawsuit, including Walgreens, Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corporation and Amerisource-Bergen Drug Corporation. When Michigan passed the Drug Dealer Liability Act in 1994, lawmakers likely didn’t think it would apply to drug companies. WATCH: Whitmer, Nessel announce plan to combat opioid epidemic in MichiganNessel filed the lawsuit in Wayne County, which her office considers ground zero in the opioid crisis in Michigan. The money from the lawsuit is expected to go into programs that help opioid victims and to police and prosecutor’s offices that can’t afford an opioid unit.
Gov. Whitmer introduces plan to combat opioid epidemic in Michigan
Gretchen Whitmer introduced a plan Thursday to combat the opioid epidemic in Michigan. “I’m formally setting a goal to reduce the number of opioid deaths by 50 percent in the next five years,” Whitmer said. The plan to reduce opioid deaths includes improved access to treatment and expanded services. Doctors will also be educated on how to safely prescribe the drugs, and a media campaign will address stigmas surrounding opioid addiction. “The media campaign, called Auto Correct, will implement an animated graphic that replaces a stigmatizing word with a healing word," said Robert Gordon, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.