By Georgea Kovanis Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A team of state, local and federal cops is working together to dismantle drug gangs and trafficking organizations responsible for the distribution of deadly opioids in southeast Michigan, the team announced Tuesday.

Since its inception in October 2017, the Southeast Michigan Regional Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) has seized 25 kilograms of heroin, 50 kilograms of cocaine and 35 kilograms of fentanyl — or enough fentanyl to kill about 15 million people, according to the office of Matthew Schneider, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan..

In addition, the strike force — which highlighted its success at a news conference on Tuesday — has arrested more than 100 people and seized about $3 million in drug proceeds.

The strike force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal inspection Service and approximately 26 state and Canadian law enforcement agencies.

It said it will continue its efforts to dismantle drug trafficking organizations — including the domestic cartel and violent street gangs it says are responsible for distribution of Mexican-sourced heroin, fentanyl-laced heroin and pure fentanyl.

“We’re having a significant increase in overdoses. … Innocent people even young boys and young girls … are getting caught in the crossfire,” Schneider said. “They’re getting hit and targeted in shootings as part of this gang and drug war.”

“We know that gangs and cartels work together,” he said. “We’re going to do the same thing.”

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