Major Drug Ring Busted, Ex-Lawmaker Among 12 Charged
DETROIT (WWJ) – A former state lawmaker from Detroit is among 12 people indicted on charges of running a massive drug ring.
Ex-State Rep. Ken Daniels, 53, and the others are accused of moving massive amounts of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. The ring allegedly peddled their drugs in metro Detroit and arranged to transport cash to Phoenix, Mexico and elsewhere to buy more drugs.
It is alleged that members of the organization would deposit large amounts of cash derived from the sale of drugs into various bank accounts, purchase
cashier’s checks and money orders and wire transfer the funds. The money would then be used to make purchase and and pay personal expenses with the goal of concealing the true source.
More than $20 million in cash has been seized. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of real estate, boats and a number of luxury vehicles.
“We are focused on dismantling major drug trafficking organizations that bring illegal drugs into our community,” Attorney Barbara McQuade in a statement. “We want young people to see that the lucrative rewards from drug trafficking are short-lived and lead to criminal charges.”
Along with Daniels, who served in the Michigan House until 2004, indicted were Carlos Ellis Powell, 37 of Washington Township (named by agents as the ringleader), Eric Jerome Powell, 34 of Franklin Farms, MI, Ignacio Avalos, 21 of Phoenix, AZ, Kenneth Robert Daniels, 53 of Detroit, Earnest Lee Proge, Jr., 36 of Detroit, Tobias John Proge, 28 of Clinton Township, Dwayne Rnay Taylor, 35 of Detroit, Tamika Olivia Turner, 34 of Eastpointe, Juan Valle, 59 of Coldwater, Margarita Lopez DeVallejo, 39 of LaHabla, CA, Benny Bernard Whigham, 34 of Detroit and Donald Lee Wilson, 49 of Parkland, FL.
“These drug organizations that make their money while poisoning our children and destroying our neighborhoods will be thoroughly investigated,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez. “IRS will ruin their ability to make money on our streets,” he said.
All 12 were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Detroit.