(STL.News) – Warren, Michigan man pleaded guilty October 1, to possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.
Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin, Drug Enforcement Administration, Commissioner William Dwyer, Warren Police Department and Chief Dale Dwojakowski, Sterling Heights Police Department.
Pleading guilty was Lewis Darnell Payne, 46. Lewis is scheduled to be sentenced before United States District Judge Linda A. Parker of the Eastern District of Michigan on January 15, 2020, where he faces at least ten years in prison and five years of supervised release.
According to court records, Payne was arrested in May 2018 at his Warren residence where officers seized a handgun and valuable jewelry. The same day officers executed search warrants at two other locations in Detroit and Warren that Payne used to store drugs. From the two locations officers seized nine kilograms of cocaine, seven kilograms of heroin, five firearms, and $189,000 in cash.
“Drug distribution is one of the root causes of the degradation of our communities,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. Federal agencies will continue to work together closely with local law enforcement to eradicate this poison from our communities,” stated U.S. Attorney Schneider.
“This is a clear message to drug traffickers in Southeastern Michigan. If you sell drugs we will find you and prosecute you to the full extent of the law,” said Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin.
Chief Dwojakowski stated, “A case like this is exactly why the Sterling Heights Police Department assigns narcotics officers to the DEA task force. Our officers, working together with the DEA, were able to take down a large scale drug operation and remove enough narcotics that would have flooded our streets and no doubt led to further deaths and drug violence. We are committed in our partnership with the DEA, and let it be known, that if you decided to make a living selling drugs, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted.”
“This was an excellent investigation conducted by the DEA, Sterling Heights Police Department, and Warren Police Department,” stated Commission Dwyer. “Together federal and local law enforcement continued to fight the epidemic that is killing thousands of Americans every year. Those responsible for poisoning our communities by selling and distributing illicit drugs will face serious consequences.”
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with task force officers from Sterling Heights and Warren police departments. Assistant United States Attorney Andrea Hutting prosecuted the case for the United States.