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129 arrested in Warren crackdown on guns, drugs

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Warren officials on Thursday detailed the success of a recent effort to get guns off the streets, which has netted 129 arrests over a month-long operation.

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer and Mayor James Fouts held a press conference announcing the results of Operation SNAG (Saving Neighborhoods Against Guns) between Aug. 6 and Sept. 5.

Dwyer said 22 members of his uniformed patrol unit and officers from Special Investigations, Special Operations and Criminal Investigations divisions participated in SNAG while also assisting officers with 731 calls for service.

Warren police commissioner William Dwyer speaks to the media during a press conference at the Warren police headquarters, September 10, 2020, to announce the results of Operation SNAG (Saving Neighborhoods Against Guns).

The operation was prompted by concerns raised by officials and residents about gun violence and reports of firearm incidents in some pockets of the community. Dwyer e singled out Lts. Matthew Dillenback and John Barnes, Sgts. Steve Showers and Scott Issacson, along with other detectives and uniformed patrol officers who volunteered for the effort.

“This operation would not have succeeded without the hard work put in by the officers on the ground,” Dwyer said. “This is a testament to the dedication the men and women of the Warren Police Department have for their community.”

During the 23-day campaign, officers executed seven search warrants and resulted in the arrests of 129 people on 252 felonies and 53 misdemeanor charges. Seventy-five guns were taken off the street as officers also seized $107,601 in cash and varying amounts of illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine. Those arrested ranged in age from 16 to 58 years old.

Some arrests highlighted by Dwyer included:

►Aug. 12: Two 19-year-old Warren residents fled from police into Detroit and were located and arrested with two firearms, one which was reported stolen and used in a shooting.

►Aug. 26: During a traffic stop, a motorist was arrested for driving infractions. Police determined the man is a suspect in a shooting and found a firearm in the console that was stolen from a mid-Michigan agency.

►Aug. 27: A 28-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman, both Warren residents, were arrested as a result of an investigation. A search of their residence resulted in seizures of $13,000 cash, a stolen .40 caliber handgun, an AK-47 rifle, more than a kilogram of marijuana and 30 stolen financial transaction devices and debit cards.

►Aug. 28: A traffic stop near Jackson and Sherwood resulted in the arrest of a driver with a suspended license and an unregistered, loaded .40 caliber handgun. The suspect is a recently paroled felon on a homicide charge who is not permitted to have a firearm.

►Sept. 2: A 23-year-old Detroit man was arrested in connection with two armed robberies in Warren on July 23 and 24. A search of his Detroit address led to the discovery of a firearm and recovery of evidence from the robberies.

►Sept. 4: A 33-year-old man was arrested after threatening to shoot a neighbor with an assault rifle and pointing the weapon at neighbors. A week earlier, the man was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon after throwing a firearm from his vehicle before a traffic stop. He was out on bond when the second incident occurred.

►Sept. 4: A 22-year-old Warren man shot a man after an altercation. An investigation the next day led to arrests of him, his 19-year-old girlfriend and a 20-year-old Detroit man who was identified as the getaway driver who attempted to destroy evidence. Searches at addresses in Warren and Detroit led to recovery of five firearms and evidence from the shooting.

Officials stressed Operation SNAG was a pro-active approach to keep Warren, the state’s third-largest city, as one of the safest for residents and visitors. According to police, as of Sept. 1 violent crime in Warren is down almost 7% from last year and about 11% from 2018. Property crime is down about 24% from 2019 and 32% from 2018.

Fouts said SNAG was the fifth such effort by Warren police since May 2019. Prior campaigns focused on human trafficking, resulting in 81 arrests, tracking down at-large fugitives wanted on outstanding warrants (46 arrests) and breaking a major Metro Detroit drug organization with eight arrests.

Warren police commissioner William Dwyer speaks to the media during a press conference at the Warren police headquarters.

“Here in Operation SNAG, as we saw in previous operations, many of the individuals coming into the city to commit crime are not residents of Warren,” Fouts said. “… With the results of operations such as SNAG, it is likely the criminals will quickly learn to stay out of the city.”

Police records show 28 of the SNAG arrests were Warren residents, with 36 arrested from Detroit and the remainder from various Michigan cities and states as far away as North Dakota, Georgia and Oklahoma.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319