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Tag Archive | "Andrew Birge"

Drug dealer convicted in Solon resident’s death

Drug dealer convicted in Solon resident’s death

A Wyoming man will be facing a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison after he was convicted in federal court last week on six drug trafficking charges—one which included distributing fetanyl resulting in death.

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge, Anthony Michael Assfy, 29, of Wyoming, was found guilty of all charges after a three-day trial. The charges included distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and crack cocaine, distribution of heroin and crack cocaine (three counts), and possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine.

The evidence showed that on August 29, 2018, Assfy sold the fetanyl to a Solon Township resident who thought it was heroin. The person then took the fetanyl and died of an overdose.

Prosecutors did not release the name of the overdose victim.

When the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET) arrived on the overdose scene, they found evidence that indicated Assfy was the decedent’s dealer. So they posed as the victim and set up a purchase of narcotics from Assfy on August 30, 2018. Assfy arrived at the Grand Rapids deal site and was arrested by law enforcement. In addition to the fentanyl that Assfy intended to deliver to the decedent, law enforcement discovered another 36 grams of fentanyl and nearly 4 grams of crack cocaine concealed on Assfy’s person upon booking him into the Kent County Jail.

The suspect posted bail on the state charges, but then went on to continue to deal heroin and crack. He was charged for distributing heroin and crack cocaine to a law enforcement agent on three occasions during this time frame. On November 13, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant on a residence that Assfy used as a deal location. Law enforcement seized another 19 grams of heroin and some crack cocaine, for which Assfy was charged.

“Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 80–100 times more potent than morphine and is cheap to produce,” said U.S. Attorney Birge. “We are increasingly seeing fentanyl mixed together with heroin or fentanyl being passed off as heroin in our West Michigan communities. Due to fentanyl’s potency, ingestion is often deadly. My office is committed to prosecuting drug dealers that cause deaths to the fullest extent of the law.” 

Anthony Assfy’s sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for June 8, 2020 before Chief Judge Robert J. Jonker. He faces a mandatory minimum term of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison.

This case was investigated by KANET, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the

Kentwood Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vito S. Solitro and Joel S. Fauson.

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Bank robber sentenced to 151 months in federal prison 

This was the scene after bank robber Edward Ray Lucas crashed his car into another vehicle after a bank robbery in Sand Lake on August 18, 2016.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced on Thursday, August 17, that U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney sentenced Lucas to 151 months in federal prison, and also ordered Lucas to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison and pay a special assessment of $100.

On August 18, 2016, Edward Lucas robbed the Independent Bank of Sand Lake, Michigan. Lucas handed a manila envelope to a teller with these words on it: “This is a Robbery. 100s, 50s, 20s. No die packs.” The teller gave Lucas $5,550, and he fled in a silver Chevy Impala.

A detailed description of the suspect and his vehicle were given to dispatchers. His description was relayed to all police units in the northern part of Kent County as well as to Montcalm County dispatch. Twenty minutes later, a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle was spotted on 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs. A Kent County Sheriff deputy was able to see the driver, who also matched the description that had been broadcasted. The vehicle then ramped onto southbound US-131 as the deputy followed. Once a second deputy caught up to the first, they made a traffic stop, but the suspect then sped away, continuing south on US-131. Police said the vehicle reached speeds up to 90 mph before slowing down and exiting on Post Dr. The suspect vehicle turned onto Post Drive heading toward Belmont.

A very short time later the suspect’s vehicle appeared to cross into oncoming traffic, side swiping a Jeep Liberty before hitting a second vehicle head on. The suspect’s vehicle then left the roadway and rolled two or three times before coming to a rest.

As deputies approached the suspect’s vehicle, the engine compartment burst into flames. Deputies were able to pull the suspect from the vehicle and use an extinguisher to extinguish the fire. They also found the demand note and $5,550 in cash in the vehicle.

A Michigan State Police Sergeant, who saw the crash, said that it looked like the suspect appeared to deliberately stray across the centerline to crash into the other vehicle.

Two individuals from the vehicle that was hit head on were treated at the scene and released. One person from the Jeep Liberty was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The suspect was transported with much more severe injuries to Butterworth Hospital, where it was determined that he broke his leg, injured his neck, and suffered a severe contusion to his chest.

Judge Maloney noted that Lucas seriously risked the lives of others in fleeing from the robbery. Judge Maloney also noted Lucas had a high risk of returning to bank robbery someday, given that he had two prior bank robbery convictions in Michigan state courts. He was previously convicted of committing two bank robberies in 1999.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and Federal Bureau of Investigation jointly investigated Lucas’s case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Davin M. Reust prosecuted it.

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