Head of large drug trafficking ring sent heroin, cocaine to Grand Rapids

Posted at 11:55 AM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 13:19:21-05

(WXYZ) — A California-based drug trafficking head was sentenced to 42 years in prison for conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine.

The drugs were distributed to Grand Rapids, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana and Kansas through the use of trap-cars, semi-trucks with custom-made concealed compartments and car trailers.

Alex Alberto Castro was the lead defendant of a 20-defendant drug conspiracy.

Officials say during the arrests of the defendants and execution of associated searches, federal and state investigators seized over 30 kilograms of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, multiple pounds of marijuana, two kilogram presses, over $1,300,000 in drug proceeds, a bullet-proof vest, three handguns and an assault rifle with an extended magazine.

“Heroin, fentanyl and cocaine—trafficked into our state from other regions—have been a scourge to our community. In Kent County alone, the number of overdose deaths from controlled substances increased by over 50% from 2016 to 2017 and we lost 156 of our neighbors to overdoses in 2017,” stated U.S. Attorney Birge. “Our federal and state law enforcement partners will not rest until they have traced these drugs to their source, like Mr. Castro. Stiff penalties like the one the Court issued here are warranted for those who would profit from this poison.”