Jun 3, 2022 - News

Drug enforcement unit plagued with problems

Illustration of a cracked magnifying glass over a police badge.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A two-year investigation into Detroit's top drug enforcement unit uncovered a pattern of secret deals with drug dealers, missing cash and falsified search warrant affidavits.

Why it matters: The investigative report, completed in November by the DPD but made public this week, raises questions about whether officers were protecting the public or enriching themselves.

  • During the investigation, four supervisors and eight officers resigned or retired, according to the department.

Context: The findings are another hit to the department's reputation. In the last year, four current and former drug enforcement officers have been charged in a separate corruption investigation into the city's towing operations.

Flashback: This investigation started in 2019 after officer Michael Mosley was charged with taking $15,000 in bribes in exchange for dropping a drug dealer's case.

  • He was sentenced last year to 18 months in prison.

Between the lines: Mosley's case was an example of "flipping," when officers unilaterally agreed to release drug suspects for supplying police with information.

  • Investigators interviewed dozens of "flipped" offenders. They found the practice caused "a costly impact on public safety" by releasing drug dealers back into the community without any follow-up prosecution.

What's next: Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy returned three warrant requests related to the report for more investigation, according to WDET.


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