KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The last of nine suspects in a Kalamazoo heroin trafficking operation is going to prison.
A federal judge Wednesday sentenced Quintin Howell of Kalamazoo to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a drug trafficking scheme. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Howell was a manager of the drug ring, recruiting and teaching others how to distribute heroin between 2013 and August of 2015.
The attorney’s office said Howell admitted his conduct involved more than 100 grams of heroin and an assault rifle with the serial number removed.
The 11-month investigation involved the Drug Enforcement Administration, Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team, the Michigan State Police Southwestern Enforcement Team, the FBI and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. It included two court-ordered wiretaps and led to eight other convictions in three related cases.
In Wednesday’s news release, acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge called heroin a “plague upon our society” and vowed to continue to hold those accountable who “spread this poison in our communities.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 1,980 Michigan residents died from drug overdoses in 2015, which was one of the highest drug mortality rates in the nation.