July 31, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Latest Detroit police raid nets weapons, drugs

Detroit police conduct more raids
Detroit police conduct more raids: Detroit police confiscated guns and drugs as they made arrests during their ninth high profile raid.

Detroit — Police teamed up with federal and state authorities to conduct a narcotics blitz and warrant sweep Thursday in another highly publicized raid as part of the popular “Operation Restore Order” series.

Police officers launched "Green Machine-40" — named after Detroit Police Chief James Craig’s alma mater Cass Technical High School in Detroit. The primary goal of the operation was to arrest individuals with outstanding warrants and conduct home inspections of people currently on probation or parole.

Detroit has seen a 38 percent reduction in robberies citywide; however, the Ninth Precinct, targeted on the east side Thursday, has seen a 42 percent rise in the past 28 days, according toCraig.

"That's not acceptable. We know that the individuals responsible for the majority of these robberies are gang members," Craig said. "So we are talking to and looking at the gang members in this area."

Roughly 100 officers gathered at the Detroit Police Department's 11th Precinct on the city's east side for roll call earlier Thursday morning. Several Special Response Team members had assault rifles slung around their necks as they discussed strategy about arresting parole absconders.

They wore all-black combat helmets, masks covering their faces, boots and robust bulletproof vests with pockets for radios and other equipment.

Other officers had their handguns holstered in a leg strap and navy-blue bulletproof vests with bold-lettered embroidery that read "POLICE" on the back. Others wore typical police uniforms.

By late Thursday morning, two dozen police cars lined East Nevada Street while even more poured out of the precinct's parking lot, forming a convoy that headed north onto Mound Road to their first location.

As police and news media crews headed down East Seven Mile, men at a car wash pointed and others at a bus stop shouted "Where the raid at, baby?”

First stop: Tacoma

The first stop was a known narcotics location at the 14100 block of Tacoma. SWAT team members stormed a small, one-story home that police say is known for selling cocaine.

The porch of the residence was fortified with a large, wooden picket fence with a sign that read “KEEP OUT.” The SWAT team swept for guns and drugs, and brought outside the only occupant, a young woman wearing sagging sweatpants, a camouflage shirt and a large gold medallion.

“There’s no drugs in there, sir,” she told Craig, who stood a few feet from an armored vehicle positioned in front of her house.

Although nothing was recovered, Craig vowed police would be back.

"Even though we may have not gotten product, the look of joy (from residents) — that's a success," Craig said.

Several residents came up to Craig to thank him, including Duane Johnston, who said he served five years for selling drugs.

“I was a bad guy,” said Johnston with his 9-year-old son, Jamarr Stansord, by his side. “You get tired of going to jail.”

Johnston, who grew up in the neighborhood riddled with dilapidated homes and overgrown grass, said he believes it will recover.

“The reason we moved back over here is because this neighborhood is gonna make a turnaround,” Johnston said. “I knew we were going to have to rough it out for a couple years, but when I came over here they changed the garbage service, they have police out here doing raids. It’s pretty much going to put a cut to it.”

Second stop: Christy

The second location was in the 11300 block of Christy at a well-kept two-story residence with a garden. Police found an arsenal of weapons inside, including handguns, a shotgun, an extended magazine for a Glock, 100-round drums for AK-47s, rounds of loose ammunition, and scales and pipes believed to be used for drug sales.

“Coupled with the narcotic paraphernalia makes it all illegal,” Sgt. Michael Woodysaid. “Because of that, federal law will allow us to confiscate their cars, weapons, and possibly even their homes.”

The man and woman inside the house were not arrested, however. Woody said police will submit a not-in-custody warrant request to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

“I had nothing to do with it,” said the middle-aged homeowner seated while police confiscated the weapons and a tow truck loaded up the first of three cars in the driveway.

Next-door neighbor George Mickens, who’s lived in the neighborhood for nearly 30 years, wasn’t pleased with the bust.

“That family over there isn’t robbing anyone,” Mickens said. “I’ve been knowing them for years and I will vouch for them. I’ll help them any way I can because they are good people. They are messing with the wrong folks.”

The SWAT team descended onto another location on the corner of College and Connor, across the street from City Airport, where police found two dozen crack rocks in baggies on the dining room table. They arrested an 18-year-old man, who authorities believed to be gang affiliated, and a young woman.

The man, who admitted to coming to the house to smoke, told Craig he recognized him from the news.

“In the news we talk about the ‘parties,’” Craig said, referring to the term he coined for the raids.

Looking Craig in the eye while in handcuffs, the suspect responded, “I guess I must not be paying attention like I should be.”


Detroit Police Chief James Craig greets a resident during a police raid Thursday. / David Coates / The Detroit News
Authorities conduct a raid on the 14000 block Tacoma in Detroit on ... (David Coates / The Detroit News)