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DETROIT NEWS

May 20, 2016  
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: (313) 234-4310

Five Members of Michigan Heroin Trafficking Organization Sentenced to Federal Prison
Drug conspiracy frequently transported heroin over 400 miles from Detroit to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

MAY 20 (MARQUETTE, Mich.) – United States Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., announced the results of a joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Michigan State Police, the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET), and the Forsyth Township Police Department.  The investigation successfully dismantled a drug trafficking organization responsible for regularly importing heroin from Detroit into Marquette County between 2012 and 2015.

The investigation led to convictions of the following people:

Lamarol Travron Abram, 39, of Detroit, Michigan, was sentenced to 170 months in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine from 2012 to 2015. Abram’s case was transferred to the Eastern District of Michigan. He was convicted there and sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. O’Meara in Ann Arbor on March 10, 2016.

Megan Marie Tinney, 25, of Gwinn, Michigan, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after being convicted of the conspiracy charge along with Abram. U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar sentenced Tinney in Marquette on May 18, 2016.

Jimmy Wayne McFied, 33, of Gwinn, Michigan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell to 48 months in prison following a conviction for distribution of heroin.

Carlton Murray, Jr., 37, of Gwinn, Michigan, was sentenced by Judge Edgar to 30 months in federal prison after being convicted of possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute.

Rachel Lynn Hanson, 32, of Ishpeming, Michigan, was sentenced by Judge Bell to 151 months in federal prison after being convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

These convictions do not end the local problem with heroin and prescription opiates. Quite the opposite. The information gathered in this investigation reveals that a significant demand for heroin exists in Marquette County. DEA investigators conservatively estimate, based on information uncovered in the investigation, that Abram sold a minimum of several ounces of heroin per month for more than three years in the local area. 

The Center for Disease Control has described prescription painkiller overdoses as a “public health epidemic.” In fact, addiction to opioids (heroin and prescription opiate painkillers) is growing, and annual opioid-related deaths now exceed the number of annual traffic fatalities.

Nationally, about nine people per 100,000 die from opioid abuse annually. That equates to about 78 people per day, and about 28,500 per year.  Michigan is one of the states hit hardest by the epidemic. Exemplifying this is the number of babies treated for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which has doubled in recent years. NAS is a group of problems that occur in a newborn that was exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs while in the mother’s womb. Hospitals in the Upper Peninsula had the highest rate of NAS in the state of Michigan, with a rate of 21 cases per 1,000 births in 2014.

Through criminal prosecutions, law enforcement works to deter drug trafficking and spread awareness of the dangers posed by illicit drug use, but the efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice extend beyond prosecutions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA has offered to conduct presentations on the dangers of opioid addiction, the extent of the drug diversion problem and challenges for law enforcement to a wide range of audiences, including medical professionals, community coalition groups, school and parent groups, local television media affiliates, and state and local law enforcement officers. 

To spread awareness of the dangers opioids pose, the DEA and the FBI have produced a 45-minute documentary film entitled “Chasing the Dragon,” which can be found on DEA.GOV.  The film depicts the harsh reality of opioid addiction and the rapid path to abuse, addiction and often death. It contains frank discussions of the impact of opiates and heroin on the lives of users and their families. The film can serve as an instructive tool for discussions with parents and students. Any school district interested in such a conversation, should contact the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


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