A major methamphetamine bust has two Kalamazoo men facing federal charges.
Law enforcement officers arrested Andre and Tyrone Hollin on Tuesday, at a house on the 400 block of Reed Street in Kalamazoo. Investigators said the two are brothers.
Investigators with the Southwest Enforcement Team accuse the Hollin brothers of trafficking more than 400 pounds of methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine (ICE) between Kalamazoo and the state of California. Detective Lt. Jim Lass, who works with SWET, said the men are originally from Michigan and have property in California.
Lass said the two were arrested after investigators learned that illegal drugs were sent through the U.S. mail and other modes of delivery between the two states. A six-month-long federal investigation, lead by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, put an end to the drug trafficking operation.
“As they find new ways to do it, we react to it and try to stop them,” Lass said.
SWET is a team of law enforcement personnel from several agencies that focuses on illegal drug trafficking. Lass said the team got a tip about a 27 pound shipment of crystal meth hidden in a car on its way from California to Kalamazoo. Lass said Illinois State Police happened to stop the car before it got to Michigan.
“They contacted SWET and said hey, would you like to try to deliver this? The people who are driving the car are being cooperative. It was coming to Kalamazoo. We said, yep, absolutely, we would like to get the people who were trying to get this,” Lass said. “When they gave us the information on who owned the car, who the phone numbers were, it was a case that we had been working on with U.S. Postal inspectors, the DEA, KVET and SWET for about six months or more.”
Lass said SWET, along with federal investigators and state law enforcement officers, swarmed the house Tuesday.
“One tried running just out the back a little ways, but we had officers on all sides of the house and basically [the suspect] ran right into an officer and gave up without incident,” Lass said.
Newschannel 3 captured video of the moment the accused drug dealers were arrested on drug warrants.
Lass said federal investigators and detectives in California found another 30 pounds of crystal meth from Kalamazoo.
“They’re using the mail to bring stuff in, they’re driving it in. Any way they can get it in, they’re doing it,” Lass said.
While this major bust is a win, Lass said the war on drugs continues.
“There’s a lot of ICE in Kalamazoo. It’s probably the epicenter of ICE in Michigan right now,” Lass said. “There’s still a ton of work to be done, there always is. The more departments work together, the more the public gives police agencies information that they have or know or think about, the easier it us for us to do our job.”
Lass said the accused drug dealers were getting the crystal meth from Mexico. He said a third person was also arrested. The detective explained this is a Drug Enforcement Administration case and SWET was asked to assist. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team were also involved.