Four imprisoned for delivering narcoticsPublished 7:57am Friday, October 25, 2013
A three-month investigation into drug trafficking in Niles and the surrounding area has resulted in the imprisonment of three Niles men and one South Bend, Ind., resident.
The last of the four defendants, Harley Lamar Hatcher, 52, of Niles, was sentenced to 60 months in prison Oct. 8 on one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Willie Earl Brown, 57, of Niles, and Sharun Contrell Williams, 39, of South Bend, Ind., were also sentenced to 60 months for conspiracy to deliver narcotics.
Larry Glen Ford, 59, of Niles, received a 30-month prison sentence for the same charge.
All were processed at the Western District of Michigan Federal Court in Grand Rapids.
Det. Chad Mitchell, of the Niles Police Department, said a confidential informant tipped off the department to narcotics activity in Niles. The tip led to an investigation by Mitchell and Det. Rick Krueger in November 2012.
They were assisted by the FBI office in St. Joseph, the DEA office in Grand Rapids, the Michigan State Police Niles Post and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department’s narcotics unit.
During the investigation, undercover officers purchased narcotics from Hatcher at his residence in the 1700 block of Oak Street in Niles. Police later learned that Brown and Ford were delivering crack cocaine to Hatcher.
On Feb. 7, a search warrant was executed at Williams’ residence in South Bend where cocaine, money and a handgun was seized.
During the investigation, a total of 15 ounces of crack cocaine was seized. The drugs have a street value of more than $20,000.
More than a half kilo of crack cocaine was conspired to be sold between the defendants, according to police.