July 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Detroit cops targeting gangs in 'Operation 7 Mile Cruise'

Detroit — Police launched their eighth Operation Restore Order raid Thursday, focusing on gangs and other crime on east and west Seven Mile.

“Operation 7 Mile Cruise” will focus on two east-side street gangs who have been causing problems recently, Police Chief James Craig said.

“Two gangs have been involved in six retaliation incidents in the past couple weeks,” Craig said. “Our goal is to shut them down and send a message that this will not be tolerated.”

Craig didn’t name the two gangs, saying: “We don’t want to give them free advertisement.”

About 11:45 a.m., officers hit their first location in what police called a known drug house in the 9400 block of Moross. Officers had two suspects handcuffed in the front of the driveway as others swarmed into the house.

Craig said they found cocaine and marijuana inside the house, where they stopped a drug deal in progress as an alleged customer in a blue pickup tried to back out of the driveway.

The driver, who wore a T-shirt that read “Motor City Home of the Hustler,” says he was just visiting the house, but police say they found packets of drugs on the ground near the truck.

“He was trying to get out quickly but we beat him to the punch,” Craig said.

The house was among five narcotics locations police hoped to hit Thursday. Officers plan to serve 180 warrants for criminal activity ranging from parole and probation violations to drug offenses and robberies.

In addition to focusing on the two east side gangs, the deployment of 200 Detroit police officers concentrated on narcotics locations and known robbers on the west side.

In later raids, police seized more than 100 marijuana plants in the 5500 block of Gladys on the city’s southwest side; and 57 packs of heroin at a drug house near East Seven Mile and St. Louis Avenue.

Craig said there has been a 35 percent reduction in robberies this year compared to last year.

“We can sit here and celebrate crime reduction, but our work continues,” he said.

Thursday’s effort was expected to focus on traffic enforcement.

Previous raids were aimed at Colony Arms Apartments and Martin Luther King Homes, both of which were the site of several hundred police runs.

Craig said the high-profile raids “reassure our community that we are fighting the good fight for them.”

GHunter@detroitnews.com

Detroit police executed 'Operation 7 Mile Cruise' on Detroit's east side on Thursday. / David Coates / The Detroit News