AG Schuette forms new unit to target opioid trafficking

OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — Attorney General Bill Schuette has created a new unit to target heroin and other opioid-based drug crimes in Michigan.

He announced the initiative Wednesday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. Schuette says six people have already been convicted, and another 15 are facing charges.

Schuette says law enforcement cannot “arrest our way out of this problem,” but the four-person Opioid Trafficking and Interdiction Unit can help reduce the supply of opioids from drug dealers and doctors who are overprescribing.

Schuette, a Republican, was joined at the announcement by Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, a Democrat whom Schuette defeated in the 2010 attorney general’s race.

Schuette is expected to run for governor in 2018 and says he has “my own timetable” on an announcement.