Federal Jury Convicts Drug Dealer Who Sold Deadly Heroin And Will Receive Life In Prison
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Steven Craig Whyte, 29, of Kalamazoo, was convicted by a federal jury yesterday of five crimes, including conspiring to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and distribution of heroin resulting in death. Because Whyte was previously convicted of a drug distribution offense, he faces a mandatory life term at sentencing.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that from late 2015 through October 2016, Whyte conspired with other individuals to sell heroin in Kalamazoo, and to obtain firearms to protect the drugs and money received from selling it. In February 2016, during the execution of a search warrant at one of the homes used by Whyte, officers found heroin, drug packaging materials, and a firearm. Images from Whyte’s phone indicated that he utilized multiple firearms in aid of his drug trafficking. On October 15, 2016, Whyte sold heroin, via an intermediary, to Adam Boomers, 29, a life-long Portage, Michigan resident, who used it and then died.
"The opioid crisis is ravaging communities around the country, and West Michigan is no different," Birge said. "We grieve Adam’s loss with his family and with his community. The serious sentence in this case will send a message that the federal government will pursue those who deal deadly drugs to the fullest extent permissible under law."
"The DEA targets individuals like Whyte, who distribute poison and cause death in our communities. This case is an example of DEA’s focus on the worst offenders in West Michigan and the nation," said Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Field Division.
"This conviction was a direct result of law enforcement’s efforts to focus on heroin dealers in the local communities," said Captain Brad Misner, Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team. "The community is safer today because of the hard work by so many involved; from the initial onset of the case, to the arrest and search warrants, to the eventual prosecution by the federal government. Mr. Whyte will no longer be able to push his product on individuals who are struggling with addiction and have fallen victim to this senseless drug."
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team, and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin M. Presant and Stephen P. Baker.