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Michigan HIDTA

General Information:
  Year of Designation:  1997
  Geographic Area of Responsibility:

Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, Genessee, Kent, Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren Counties

    Contact: (877) 848-4500

Mission Statement:

The Mission of the Michigan HIDTA is to reduce drug trafficking, related violent crime and money laundering in the HIDTA Region. This will be accomplished through the coordination and sharing of Intelligence, a unified Law Enforcement effort and Community Cooperation which will improve the quality of life in the State of Michigan.

Threat Abstract:

The Michigan HIDTA Region is centrally located with access to Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Toronto and Montreal. All are major urban centers with key roles in the North American drug trade. The Michigan HIDTA shares a 700 mile international border with Ontario, Canada, with three principle Ports of Entry into the United States. Each of these accounts for many thousands of vehicles and trucks, entering and leaving the United States. Numerous airports, including Detroit Metro Airport, service the region with direct International flights to Source Countries. The Michigan Region has historically served as a major consumer and transshipment point from Florida, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the Mexican border, as well as a center for Middle Eastern Drug Traffickers, Money Launders and Terrorist Organizations or Cells.

The Michigan HIDTA Region continues to be a major transshipment point for Canadian pseudo-ephedrine used to produce Methamphetamine in California and Mexico Super Labs.

Michigan waterways and lakes provide virtually unhindered access to limitless landing areas from cities and ports in Canada, The St. Lawrence Seaway, as well as U.S. cities such as Cleveland and Chicago.

The Detroit Metropolitan airport has been a major smuggling route for narcotics both inbound and outbound for many years. Numerous seizures have been made at this international airport including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and large sums of cash. Numerous regional airports and private landing strips facilitate the transshipment of narcotics into the Michigan HIDTA area. Since September 11, 2001, heightened security at area airports has reduced activities, which defer to land routes.

Strategy Abstract:

The Michigan HIDTA Executive Board, through its subcommittees, coordinates and synchronizes the efforts to reduce drug trafficking; eliminate duplication; systematically improve the sharing of drug intelligence and targeting information; and utilizes specialized law enforcement task forces to concentrate on particular areas of criminal activity associated with drug trafficking.

Michigan HIDTA initiatives focus on multi- level drug trafficking. To accomplish this, the Michigan HIDTA Executive Board continues to adopt a three tiered strategy to counter drug trafficking. Level One Initiatives focus on "street level" drug trafficking, Level Two Initiatives focus on drug traffickers and the importation of drugs into the Michigan area, and Level Three Initiatives focus on the major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, by investigating Priority Targets (CPOT). Current and future initiatives will provide multi-agency efforts that will support the goals of this strategy. All Initiatives integrate and are supported by the Michigan HIDTA Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center (ISDC).

The Michigan HIDTA Executive Board has approved twenty-two (22) initiatives for FY 2004 (two of these initiatives were later combined into one due to a reduction in manpower). The approved law enforcement initiatives make up the Investigative Subsystem of the Michigan HIDTA and support the Michigan HIDTA Strategies to counter the drug threat.

Investigative Support Center:

The Intelligence Subsystem of the Michigan HIDTA is comprised of the Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center (ISDC), giving access to all of the Task Force Initiatives and law enforcement agencies. The ISDC is comprised of a Deconfliction Section and four Investigative Support Sections. Each investigative support section will have primary responsibility to an assigned group of Task Force Initiatives and secondary responsibility to all other Task Force Initiatives and other participants.

Core functions of the Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center include, but are not limited to:

- Event and case deconfliction
- Post seizure analysis
- Analytical case support
- Strategic intelligence
- Annual Threat Assessment

One-stop-shopping for federal, state and local intelligence databases.

The Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center is inter-connected through the Milwaukee HIDTA ISC as part of the Riss.net connectivity plan. The Michigan HIDTA Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center has maintained an achievement of 24 of the 26 Intelligence and Information Sharing HIDTA Developmental Standards, and is in compliance with a majority of the milestones, which were contained in the GCIP. All members of the Michigan HIDTA Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center are collocated, full- time assigned personnel. Several agencies contribute to the Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center on a part-time basis, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the

Canadian Customs Service.

The Michigan HIDTA Strategy focuses on obtaining the most recent institutional drug intelligence and on developing new sources. This information is supported as much as possible by national intelligence agency sources. The Michigan HIDTA attempts to fuse this data into a consolidated targeting picture that will enable investigative and enforcement agencies and task forces to prioritize their collective efforts on those activities that give the greatest outcomes. This central information/intelligence collection point facilitates cross-case analysis, prevents duplication, and insures the Executive Board has sufficient information to establish priorities for the approved initiatives.

The goals of the Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center are to provide responsive deconfliction, pointer index, case support, intelligence fusion, target and strategic financial crimes information. These services are provided by the participation and intelligence contribution of participating and non-participating agencies. This support is provided on site in the center. Each initiative benefits from and contributes to the Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center by querying and updating the information at the center, and by use of the center to provide deconfliction with other tactical operations in the region. All Michigan HIDTA operations and investigations are coordinated with the Investigative Support and Deconfliction Center. This is accomplished by the mutual agreement of the Executive Board and respective participating agencies.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, United States Marshals Service, U.S. Attorneys Office from the Eastern District of Michigan and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

State/Local: Michigan State Police, Detroit Police Department, Eastern Michigan Sheriffs, Western Michigan Sheriffs, Eastern Michigan Chiefs of Police, Western Michigan Chiefs of Police, Michigan Prosecutor Representative.

Other: Michigan Attorney General, Metropolitan Organizing Strategies Enabling Strength (MOSES) Community Groups, Michigan National Guard, Michigan Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) and Wayne County Prosecutor.

Many other federal and local agencies participate within HIDTA Task Forces/Initiatives. In CY 2003, 369 law enforcement personnel were assigned to HIDTA Task Forces/Initiatives from federal, state and local agencies.

Significant Achievements:

In CY 2003 Michigan HIDTA purchased two ABI 310 Genetic Analyzers which resulted in a total of 600 drug-related violent crime cases completed.

The Task Forces of the Michigan HIDTA Initiatives have collectively increased Drug Seizures by the following:
Heroin +20%
Marijuana Plants +756%
Methamphetamine +404%
Clandestine Labs +3,200%

On June 4, 2004, the Combined Hotel Interdiction Team (CHIEF) conducted surveillance and executed a search warrant at a residence in the city of Detroit. Twenty- five kilograms of cocaine, $204,800 in U.S. currency, one SKS assault rifle, and one Jennings 9mm Bryco Arms pistol was located during the search of both the residence and the garage. Three subjects who were the target of this investigation were arrested at that time.

An Immigration and Customs Agent (ICE), assigned to the Michigan HIDTA, Thomas Ontko, was responsible for the location and subsequent apprehension of a Spanish National. The Defendant was convicted of the rape and murder of a 13 year-old British girl while she was on a school trip to France in 1996. The subject was extradited, tried, convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison by a French court. SA Thomas Ontko's excellent efforts brought this international predator to justice.

In 2004, US and Canadian authorities successfully concluded an investigation of Vietnamese individuals and their organization in Canada, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland and Minnesota who were responsible for trafficking in over $40 million worth of BC Bud Marijuana and MDMA. Thirty-one persons were arrested in Michigan and Windsor, more than $5 million in cash, 850kg of high grade BC Bud Marijuana and 3,000 tablets of MDMA were seized.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005