18 people facing federal charges in drug ring; 4 suspects still at large

Drug ring busted in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Authorities have seized about $1 million in cash, along with several kilograms of heroin, cocaine and marijuana all related to a drug ring bust that ended with 18 people -- including 13 from West Michigan -- now facing federal charges.

According to announcement from the acting U.S. Attorney in West Michigan, Andrew Birge, warrants for 18 people were issues and granted on Friday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 4. Four suspects related to the multi-jurisdictional drug investigation are still being sought by police.

Those facing charges are as follows: 

  • Yusef Phillips (aka "Sef"), 40, Grand Rapids
  • Ray Lee (aka "Rudy Ray"), 46, Grand Rapids
  • Demetrius Gaines, 41, Wyoming
  • Cazembie Baskin (aka "Doe-Boy"), 44, Grand Rapids
  • Jesse Phillips, 34
  • Retisha Pegram (aka "Blackie"), 36, Grand Rapids
  • Phillip Nelson, 39, Chicago
  • Brandon Parks, 27, Grand Rapids
  • Michael Nelson, 37, Grand Rapids
  • Michael Gould, 36, Grandville
  • Kayode Moyo-Jomoke Marshall, 42, Grand Rapids
  • Solon Tatum, 40, Grand Rapids
  • Tony Kirkland, 55, Kentwood
  • Salvador Cervantes, 34, Los Angeles
  • Toranita Meridy, 39, Benton Harbor
  • Etrevion Murphy, 21, Benton Harbor
  • Jacob Weisman, Pompano Beach, Fl.
  • Miguel Raya, 33, South Gate, Cali.

Gaines, Pegram, Parks and Murphy are still at large. Anyone with information of their whereabouts should call the DEA office in Grand Rapids at 616-458-0616.

During the arrests and searches, authorities seized over 30 kilograms of heroin and cocaine, multiple pounds of marijuana, two kilogram presses, about $1 million, a bullet-proof vest, three handguns and an assault rifle with an extended magazine. 

In an affidavit filed by the U.S. Attorney's office, it is alleged that the drugs were brought into West Michigan by a semi-tractor trailer. The 18 people arrested over the course of the last few days was in relation to the transportation of drugs from California to Michigan, and conspiracy to distribute them in Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor. 

Sources at Kent County Sheriff's Department tell WZZM 13 that this drug bust is directly related to the deputy-involved shooting that occurred on Sunday, Sept. 3. The suspect was shot in the chest and remains hospitalized.  He was listed in critical condition on Sunday. He will appear in court when he is medically able to do so, according to a news release.

The charges these people face carrying varying maximum penalties of up to 20 years or life in prison, depending on the allegations against them.

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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