Detroit Police: 2 killed in black-market pot deal

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — Police are investigating a double homicide that happened in broad daylight Saturday — the latest violence to stem from black-market marijuana sales in Detroit.

The killing of two men, ages 26 and 27, happened at about 5:40 p.m. at Steel and Westfield near W. Chicago and Meyers on the city's west side, police said in a press release Sunday.

"Two victims ... in a Chevy Saturn allegedly pulled up to an unknown location to purchase marijuana when two unknown suspects began firing shots into their vehicle, striking them," the release said, adding that the information is preliminary and subject to change.

"Medics responded and pronounced the victims deceased," police said. "Suspects are unknown at this time. The circumstances surrounding this incident are still being investigated."

Detroit police officials say despite recreational marijuana being legal in Michigan, black market sales are thriving, in large part because street weed, which isn't subject to taxes and other fees, is much cheaper than the legal product.

In January, police Chief James Craig launched an enforcement initiative to combat a spike in marijuana-related violence. Last month, police officials released details of the operation, which from Jan. 22-March 22 resulted in:

  • 527 felony arrests
  • 141 misdemeanor arrests 
  • 189 guns seized (20 long guns, 90 handguns)
  • 6,259 ordinances issued
  • 553 vehicles impounded
  • 38 stolen vehicles recovered

Police said during the sweep they confiscated 236.4 grams of suspected cocaine, 1,347 suspected pills, 2,381 grams of suspected marijuana, 65.4 grams of suspected heroin, and 6 grams of suspected meth.

In other violence Saturday, a man was killed in the 2900 block of Pingree. At about 10:45 a.m. medics found the unknown victim unresponsive; he was partially burned and had a gunshot wound to the body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police reported two non-fatal shootings on Detroit's east side. The first was at 2:20 p.m. in the 2020 block of Barlow, and the second at 9:20 p.m. Saturday near Glenwood and Kelly.

Anyone with information about Saturday's incidents is asked to please call Detroit Police Homicide at (313) 596-2260 or Crime Stoppers of Michigan at (800) SPEAK-UP (773-2587).

(313) 222-2134

Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN