Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 15, 2014

Five arrested in Traverse City drug bust

TRAVERSE CITY — A month-long investigation into a suspected drug house in Traverse City led to five arrests and allowed authorities to seize a “significant” amount of heroin, marijuana, pills and cash.

Traverse Narcotics Team officers and other local law enforcement agencies on Thursday evening used warrants to search a residence at 1002 Barlow in Traverse City. TNT Detective Lt. Daniel King said officers found seven occupants and arrested five: two men and two women, all “local,” and a Detroit man.

King said officers found more than $4,000, drugs and suspected paraphernalia -- scales, plastic bag and “bindles” used to package heroin -- indicating the suspects used the location to sell narcotics.

“Based on my professional opinion, that’s exactly what that was,” King said.

Authorities sought drug trafficking-related charges against three of the suspects. The other two were held on outstanding warrants. Charges had yet to be filed in 86th District Court by Friday afternoon.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said city police knew about the Barlow Street house before TNT sought the search warrants; the residence is near the Sgt. Dennis W. Finch Law Enforcement Center which houses city police and the Grand Traverse County sheriff’s department.

King said detectives spent Friday processing evidence and he didn’t have exact quantities of the drugs seized. But he called the amount of suspected heroin found “significant” because the the drug is typically sold in tenths of a gram.

“You may only have to seize 2 grams, but that takes 20 to 30 hits off the street,” King said.

TNT officers were assisted by Traverse City and Elk Rapids police officers, Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies and Michigan State Police troopers. King didn’t elaborate on what local tips led authorities to the house a month ago, but said tips from the community are especially important.

“They can come from everywhere,” he said.

Members of the public with tips on illegal drug activity are asked to call 231-338-0868.

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