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Press Release

Allen Park Man Convicted of Fentanyl/Heroin Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT - An Allen Park man was convicted today by a federal jury in Port Huron on charges of possessing fentanyl and heroin with the intent to distribute them, maintaining a drug premises, and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a previously convicted felon, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

Joining Ison in the announcement was Orville O. Greene, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Found guilty was Robert Cortez Burrell, 52. The five-day trial was conducted before United States District Judge Robert H. Cleland. The jury deliberated less than an hour before returning their verdicts. Brown faces at least ten years in prison, up to life, when he is sentenced, likely early next year. 

According to the evidence presented at trial, DEA agents began investigating Burrell in the fall of 2020. During their investigation, they learned he was storing and manufacturing drugs using two houses in Lincoln Park and his personal residence in Allen Park, as well as distributing fentanyl and heroin in Michigan and Ohio. On December 10, 2020, DEA agents executed warrants at the three houses, resulting in the discovery of more than 800 grams of fentanyl;  over 300 grams of heroin (some of which was a fentanyl/heroin mix); cutting and narcotics packaging materials; a Sterling semi-automatic pistol; 15 rounds of .25 Auto ammunition; a half-kilo press with heroin residue; a grinder with fentanyl residue; another grinder with heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl residue; and approximately $15,000 in cash.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, and two milligrams is typically considered a potentially lethal dose. So, Burrell had, conservatively, about 400,000 lethal doses of the drug. According to the CDC, in the twelve-month period ending December 2020, more than 92,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses. Products - Vital Statistics Rapid Release - Provisional Drug Overdose Data ( 75% of U.S. drug overdose deaths in 2020 involved an opioid.

“Our office will vigorously pursue opioid traffickers who inject poisons like fentanyl and heroin into our community and we will do all we can to stop them from continuing to destroy the lives of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones who suffer from substance addiction” said Ison. 

This investigation was led by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration assigned to the Detroit Field Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jihan Williams and John O’Brien.

Updated October 13, 2022

Drug Trafficking