A federal grand jury indicted 18 people, including a Macomb Township man, Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana.
The indictment followed the bust of a national drug ring federal prosecutors allege was used to distribute cocaine and marijuana in Detroit over the past 11 years.
U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced the indictment Thursday, which charges all 18 defendants, who are alleged to be members of a national drug trafficking organization, with conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana in Detroit over the past decade.
“The arrests that stemmed from this investigation are strong examples of the positive results that can be achieved when state, local and federal law enforcement agencies work together to fight drug trafficking," said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Robert Corso, in a release. "The DEA will continue to work with our partners to make our community safer by focusing on dismantling violent drug organizations.”
The drug ring is believed to have been in operation since 2000 and is noted for its members' creative nicknames, such as "Old Girl," "Deezy," "Chief," "Dawg," "J-Rock" and "Pookie," according to the FBI.
The most serious charge in the indictment, conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of powder cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, carries a penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment, according to the FBI.
Because an indictment is only a charging document and not evidence of guilt, each and every defendant is presumed to be innocent. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Portelli.