Supply and demand for dangerous pills, drugs on the rise throughout Michigan

Posted at 6:24 AM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 07:34:14-04

(WXYZ) — Dashcam video released a few weeks ago shows Sterling Heights Police chasing members of an alleged drug cartel.

In the car, they found 20,000 fentanyl pills.

Police say these dangerous pills, and others including heroin, illegal prescription pills, and meth are on the rise in Michigan.

Departments throughout the state say demands for these products are surging leading to more busts and higher drug seizers than before.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says a solution can be securing the borders.

"Don't try to profit from your death-making activities here because we are coming for you and it would be my request for the fed's secure the border," Bouchard said.

He says illegal drugs are pouring into southeast Michigan at an alarming rate.

Just last month, a $1 million drug bust took place in Oakland County.

"In our case, we had one individual from China, who had been deported previously, was back and was part of this major drug transaction with someone who was illegally present from Mexico," Bouchard said.

So where are these drugs coming from? Police say all over.

From the southern border to the northern border and the highways, these drug rings have an intricate network of smuggling operations and can go undetected.

Brian McNeal with the Drug Enforcement Administration says these drugs are being transported in trucks, buses, and cars.

"It is a perfect highway system to transit goods and services just like a regular business. Drug trafficking organizations use those same highways," McNeal said.

The other common way of transporting meth was through the postal service. In Western Michigan, at least 20 packages containing over 86 pounds of meth were seized.

These drug organizations use social media and the dark web to make the deal and in some cases digital currency.

According to McNeal, meth is on the rise here in metro Detroit.

The DEA took over 100lbs of meth off the streets in 2018, then over 230 pounds in 2019. In 2020 they took more than 180 pounds off the street. They attribute the decline to the pandemic.

"The drug cartels are manufacturing very cheap and very potent methamphetamines and they're practically giving it away and are trying to establish new markets just like any new business would," McNeal said.

McNeal says these new drugs are more powerful and high addictive.

"Methamphetamine is super powerful. 20 years ago if you came across methamphetamines at a 30% potency rate. I mean, that's some strong stuff. We're seeing things in excess of 90% pure." McNeal said.