drug enforcement

Heroin dealer pleads guilty in Petoskey

Jan 10, 2018
Petoskey Department of Public Safety

A Charlevoix man has pleaded guilty to dealing heroin in Petoskey. Anthony Wilhelm appeared in Petoskey circuit court on Tuesday. 

Wilhelm’s alleged partner, Travis Gunderson, of Petoskey, pleaded guilty to other drug charges last month.

Michigan State Police

People with drug problems can now ask the Cadillac state police for help without fear of being arrested. The Michigan State Police Cadillac post began participating in the Angel Program this month.

Human trafficking charges against Jamel King, a drug dealer from the Detroit area, have been dropped.

Recently, King took a plea deal, pleading guilty to cocaine possession and intent to deliver.

Both Cooney and Traverse City Narcotics commander, Dan King, say human trafficking is a county issue that goes beyond Crick and this one case, but it can be difficult to prosecute.

Linda Stephan

The Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT) is looking for more money from local governments to replace funding shortfalls.

Eight counties in northern Michigan, along with Traverse City, fund the drug taskforce. But TNT also gets money from federal grants and drug forfeitures.

Missaukee County sheriff Jim Bosscher says those sources are drying up.

Linda Stephan

A plan to boost funding for drug enforcement in Benzie County could face problems if voters approve it.

Questions have emerged over the language used in the ballot proposal.

Linda Stephan

Benzie County will ask voters to boost funding for drug enforcement this November. Officials in the cash-strapped county have created a millage proposal that would allow a sheriff’s deputy to join the region’s drug task force, called the Traverse Narcotics Team.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that heroin use in the U.S. jumped 79% from 2007 through 2012. And heroin overdose deaths rose 45% between 2006 and 2010.

Police and public health officials say Michigan is on the same track, with heroin addiction and overdose deaths on the rise.

Special Agent Rich Isaacson is with the Detroit division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Isaacson says the increase in heroin use and overdose deaths is directly related to the rapid increase in the misuse of opiate drugs, such as OxyContin and Vicodin. Isaacson says these prescriptions can get very expensive, which can result in addicts turning to heroin, which is also an opiate drug, for a much cheaper price.

Isaacson says prevention and education are very important to reduce the addiction and overdose rates. He adds that strict oversight on how the drugs are obtained and educating doctors about addiction could help as well.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Linda Stephan

  IPR has been reporting recently on reaction in Benzie County after a slew of overdose deaths, six deaths in two years. We’ve talked about everything from drug testing and education to life-saving measures during an overdose. But the parents of one victim say none of this really gets at the root of the problem.

Sarah Esper

Recent deaths in Benzie County from drug overdoses have left the community stunned.

The sheriff has been trying to track down the sources of those drugs. A suspect was arraigned just this week on charges related to an overdose back in February. But the drug community is notoriously tight-lipped and getting at the biggest pushers is a real challenge for law enforcement – especially under the tight budget constraints of Benzie County.

Even In Beulah

E-Magazine Art/Flickr

People with unused and expired medications can get rid of them through police and sheriff’s departments across the state Saturday. It’s an effort to rid medicine cabinets of expired and unwanted medications that are at risk of being abused or stolen.

Enforcement officials across northern Michigan say drugs are a growing problem, especially prescription opiates and the related street drug heroin.

Community Fights Back After Overdose Deaths

Apr 14, 2014
Linda Stephan

The use of heroin and other drugs is on the rise across northern Michigan, but the effects are being felt particularly in the small, tight knit communities of Benzie County.

Toxicology reports are not back for the two latest victims. But if their deaths are confirmed overdoses the count will rise to six deaths in two years. And some in the community are looking for anything they can do to ward off the next.

Drugs Testing Kits At The Funeral Home

It’s not just the police who have noted a rise in heroin and other drug-related deaths in Benzie County.

“You’re taking care of a lot your friend’s kids now,” says Funeral Director Gaylord Jowett. Some of those funerals have taken place at the Jowett Family Funeral Home in Benzonia.

Two more deaths in Benzie County are suspected drug overdoses.

The Benzie County Sheriff’s Department says officials believe a 22-year-old man likely died from an overdose Wednesday. They are also waiting on toxicology reports from the death of a 42-year-old man last week Wednesday, March 19th.

Already the county of 18,000 people has seen four overdose deaths confirmed in the last year and a half. County deputies have begun carrying a drug that can save the lives of overdose victims, if administered quickly. 

Deputies in Benzie County might be the first officers in Michigan to carry a potentially life-saving drug for overdose victims.

Calls to the fire department for suspected drug overdoses are increasingly common in Revere, Mass. The department responded to 16 overdose calls in a single six-day stretch in February.

Dr. Lynn Ouellette, a psychiatrist from Brunswick, Maine, asks herself "What if?" a lot these days. What if they had found her son just a few minutes earlier? What if they had gotten him to the hospital sooner?

What if they'd had the overdose antidote Narcan in the house?

"What we know is that this saves lives and it gives addicts another chance," she says.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Three Michigan Cities Lessen Marijuana Restrictions

Nov 6, 2013

Voters in three more Michigan cities approved ballot questions Tuesday decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. Ballot proposals in Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale each passed with more than 60 percent of the vote.

“This is an historic night….a landslide by all considerations,” says Jeff Hank, who headed Lansing’s pro-marijuana campaign. “It sends a message not only to our local politicians, but politicians at the state level that it’s time to do something.”