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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
November 1, 2004

DEA MET Team Deployment Brings Relief To Southwest Michigan

Benton Harbor, Michigan- During the last four months, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Detroit has deployed their Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) to the Benton Harbor area to assist state and local law enforcement agencies with surge in crack cocaine trafficking in the area. While Benton Harbor is a relatively small area, it has experienced an unusually high amount of crack distribution and associated violence in recent years. At the request of Benton Harbor Police Chief Samuel E. Harris, DEA Detroit Special Agent in Charge, John P. Gilbride deployed the MET group to Benton Harbor to assist local authorities in targeting the “Hot Boyz” crack cocaine organization that was creating havoc throughout southwest Michigan.

The concept of the DEA MET groups is to send federal narcotics resources and personnel to areas throughout the country that may not have the resources to combat violent drug trafficking organizations. The DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been in place for nearly a decade and they have hailed by local law enforcement officials as a vital tool for combating the drug trade as it has spread to America’s heartland. The MET mission is to identify and dismantle violent drug trafficking groups that have targeted smaller urban and rural areas throughout the United States.

“The MET deployments are designed to have an immediate and positive impact on the quality of life for local residents who have been targeted and intimidated by violent drug organizations,” DEA Detroit Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride.

During the Benton Harbor MET deployment, agents working with local authorities were able to arrest numerous members of the "Hot Boyz" gang, seized 1,045 grams of crack cocaine, 125 grams of cocaine, marijuana, three vehicles seized and multiple weapons seized.

Other law enforcement agencies participating in the operation included:

• Benton Harbor Police Department
• Berrien County Sheriffs Department
• Michigan State Police
• Niles Police Department
• New Buffalo Police Department
• Benton Township Police Department
• Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
• U.S. Marshals Service


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