LANSING, Mich. — A boutique in south Lansing may appear to be a normal clothing store, but the Department of Justice said in a court filing that it was being used as a "front" to sell drugs and launder drug money.
"Oh, I was not surprised,"said Kyle Berg works, who next store to Head Ova Heels Boutique at 1112 W. Holmes Road. "I knew they were doing some kind of drug thing, absolutely I knew they were."
Berg said he would see people he now believes were drug traffickers come and go. Sometimes, they'd even stop in for a drink.
"All I know is that they would come in with big wads of cash and just buy a drink and try to use hundreds, which we can't do," Berg said.
Sixteen people were charged this week in connection with the activities of two Lansing-Area drug trafficking rings.
Among them is Edward Washington, who Lansing police say led an organization that was "distributing bulk quantities of fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin through Lansing." Police and federal agents have been investigating the group since the spring of 2020.
"They would blackout and put trash bags over the windows so no one could see in or out," Berg said.
This past April federal agents and local police began an investigation into another drug trafficking operation they say was headed by a man named John Humphrey.
That organization was "distributing pounds of crystal methamphetamine as well as bulk quantities of fentanyl and heroin supplied by Davanti Heard-White throughout Lansing.
Court documents list a house on North Chestnut Street as a “trap house” used to store and sell narcotics.
Both drug investigations relied on the use of phone taps and confidential sources, according to court documents.
The U.S. Department of Justice reported that more than 150 federal, state and local law enforcement officers from Michigan Illinois and Ohio assisted with search warrants and arrests on Tuesday.
Our team reached out to the attorneys for the accused, but they did not wish to give a statement.
The Department of Justice told FOX 47 they'll be releasing more information in the coming weeks.
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.