According to federal agents, two men used a Sterling Heights condo and hidden vehicle compartments stored in an auto transporter parked at Lakeside Mall to hide hundreds of grams of fentanyl.
Jeremy Brent Joshua, 33, of Detroit, and Frederic Arthur Haynes, 39, of California, have been named in a criminal complaint accusing them of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances. Joshua is also accused of being a criminal in possession of an AR-15 rifle.
They are both in federal custody pending further court dates.
In total, authorities confiscated $ 298,990 in suspected drug products and 18 kilograms of fentanyl, records show.
“With the coins secreted in hidden compartments and 990 net grams of fentanyl with the Acura coins, I think the coins were the proceeds of the sale of drugs that Haynes, Joshua and potentially others had distributed,” he said. writes an investigator in court. records.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, since March 2020, the couple has been the subject of an investigation in connection with a drug trafficking organization. Haynes would get hundreds of grams of fentanyl in California and travel to meet Joshua where they repackage it at homes in Sterling Heights, Harper Woods and Detroit, court documents show.
Federal agents said that during one of Haynes’ previous trips to Michigan, authorities seized drugs and drug products from trap compartments discovered in vehicles the two men dropped off at a car dealer. The couple were seen delivering the vehicles – an Acura and a Honda Accord – to a car transporter in the Lakeside Mall parking lot near the corner of Hall Road and Schoenherr Road, records show.
Before each vehicle delivery, Haynes and Joshua pulled up to a condominium on Pendleton Circle, in the Canal and Schoenherr road area in Sterling Heights. They would back the cars from an attached garage where investigators believe they were hiding the activity of loading the compartments of the traps, according to court documents.
Investigators continued surveillance after the car transporter left the mall parking lot carrying both the Acura and Accord that the couple had delivered. After observing several traffic violations, a marked unit of Michigan State Police, under the direction of DEA investigators, arrested the car transporter.
A K9 drug detector alerted both cars to the presence of drugs, and a search of the Acura revealed a concealed compartment in the backseat of the vehicle that contained 990 grams of fentanyl and $ 140,020 in cash.
A search of the Honda Accord revealed a hidden compartment in the vehicle’s dashboard that contained $ 159,000, according to records.
Federal agents have determined that Haynes provided a phone number as the contact number for picking up vehicles with the name “Damien Hayes”. This is likely a pseudonym for Haynes in an attempt to hide his identity and association with the transporter cars, court records show.
Records show the couple allegedly had a single-family residence on Lappin Street, near Seven Mile and Kelly Roads, in Detroit, and an apartment on Fleetwood Drive in Harper Woods, which officers said were linked to drug trafficking.
When the DEA executed a search warrant on the Sterling Heights condo, it seized approximately 11.6 kilograms of suspected fentanyl from a gym bag in a closet, investigators said. .
Officers also seized a one-kilogram press – used to repackage brick medicine – with about 1.45 kilograms still in the Detroit home press, as well as 4.96 kilograms of fentanyl.
Investigators also seized an unloaded DPMS AR-15 rifle with a magazine from a bedroom closet. The gun is not manufactured in Michigan, so it traveled in interstate commerce, according to the criminal complaint.
Haynes has a criminal record in three different states, including a 2011 conviction for possession of a controlled substance and a 2013 conviction for delivering / manufacturing a controlled substance, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Haynes was released from parole in February 2019.
Records show Joshua was previously convicted of possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substances, firing a felony, carrying a concealed weapon and unloading a gun in a building.