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Detroit lawmaker among drug indictees

Feb. 2, 2012 at 4:18 PM

DETROIT, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A Detroit legislator and 11 others Thursday faced drug charges in what federal prosecutors described as a major international drug ring.

Rep. Ken Daniels, a Democrat, was indicted Wednesday along with reputed drug kingpin Carlos Powell, president of Grand Towers Inc., following a six-year investigation.

Daniels was charged with aiding and abetting financial transactions for using two cashier's checks to buy a Mercedes for Powell.

Federal agents seized more than $21 million cash, 66 pounds of heroin, 26 pounds of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana over the course of the inquiry. Allegedly, Powell's drug ring laundered profits, buying jewelry, real estate, luxury cars and more.

Michigan State University criminologist Carl Taylor has studied drug trafficking in Detroit.

"This surpasses everybody," he told The Detroit News. "That's very scary. That's a lot of heroin and a tremendous amount of cash, particularly at this time."

Powell was freed on a $50,000 bond. He could face life in prison.

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