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‘Operation Sweetie’ nets arrests, drugs

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

At least three people were arrested and marijuana, heroin and cocaine seized in a handful of raids following a five-year investigation into a drug-trafficking ring that extends from Detroit to northern Michigan, police said.

Michigan State Police, along with local and federal law enforcement on the Traverse Narcotics Team, served four search warrants Wednesday morning.

The main suspect, a 34-year-old woman, was taken into custody Wednesday, along with two other people at a home in Harper Woods, state police Lt. Mike Shaw said. She has been charged with conspiracy to deliver cocaine or heroin, and conducting a criminal enterprise. Twelve arrest warrants for what police are calling “mid-level dealers” are being issued up north.

Police did not provide the woman’s name but said the “Operation Sweetie” raids relied on her nickname.

Police found heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and a gun, along with several Green Dot prepaid debit cards. These cards, which are the financial equivalent of a burner cellphone, are available at many grocery stores and can be bought online. They are less traceable than normal credit cards.

Shaw said drug traffickers have started to use prepaid cards in lieu of cash, which they fear will be seized by police. Police have a way of discovering how much money is on the cards, Shaw said, but declined to say how.

Operation Sweetie is ongoing, Shaw said.

jdickson@detroitnews.com

The Associated Press contributed.