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June 21, 2004 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2004-06-21

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 21, 2004 - 3

Police: campus drug
*den targeted students

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - After
years of frustration, police have
launched a sweeping effort to shut
down a sophisticated heroin and crack
operation targeting University of
Michigan students.
At the center of the investigation is a
white stucco house, located less than
three blocks from two of the Universi-
ty's biggest dorms, police said.
In 10 years, police have responded to
227 calls at the house for assaults, bur-
glaries, sexual assaults and a barricaded
gunman, according to police records.
Police have also executed at least
three drug-related search warrants and
arrested 40 people on drug charges, the
Detroit Free Press reported in a story
last Monday.
The house also serves as a clear-
inghouse for stolen property includ-
ing credit cards, guns, students'
computers and fresh meat, which
are all bartered for drugs, police say.
The two bosses of the Detroit drug
crew hang out with students at parties
near campus trying to develop cus-

tomers, and one of them was supplying
crack to a girl in a sorority, said Ann
Arbor Police Sgt. Lyle Sartori.
Brazel Gardenhire, 25, has been
charged with multiple drug felonies in
connection with the drug ring. He is
being held in the Washtenaw County
Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond and could
not be reached for comment.
Gardenhire has been charged with
two counts of delivery of a controlled
substance and one count of possession
with intent to deliver cocaine. He faces
a maximum of 20 years in jail if he is
convicted. A trial is set for Oct. 4.
Police are seeking multiple
felony charges against other people
associated with the house, including
21 delivery of cocaine charges, 13
conspiracy to deliver cocaine
charges, three possession of cocaine
with intent to deliver charges and
three possessicfn with intent to
deliver within 1,000 feet of a school
zone charges, which carry penalties
two to three times the normal 20-
year maximum sentence.

* In 10 years, police have responded to 227
calls at the house for assaults, burglaries,
sexual assaults and a barricaded gunman,
according to police records.

Continued from Page 1
The campaign will continue past
2004 and through 2006, Zarko said. The
level of activity will not subside, and
MCRI hopes debate will continue even
after all the signatures are collected.
"We're not going away. We're not
going to give up," said Tim O'Brien,
an MCRI campaign manager.
Although the appellate decision has
lifted a burden off the campaign's
shoulders, other troubles may befall
the group in the coming months.
An apparent divide in the organiza-
tion, borne of disagreement amongst
MCRI treasurer Leonard Schwartz,
O'Brien and the rest of the group, has
not entirely healed. O'Brien still main-
tains control of the MCRI's volunteer
signature gathering effort and the
funds for that segment of the initiative.
While O'Brien still pledges to aid in
MCRI's efforts and maintains his posi-
tion in the organization, Zarko
expressed ambivalence toward O'Brien.
O'Brien and Schwartz, both Libertari-
ans, have been eliminated from the staff
directory on MCRI's website.
"We don't care either way what Tim
O'Brien decides to do," Zarko said.
It is also unclear whether Ward Con-
nerly, MCRI's chief proponent, financial
backer and a Regent at the University of
California, will provide the funds neces-
sary to carry the campaign to October
and eventually to November 2006.
Zarko said he is confident that
Connerly will come through and that,

in any event, the campaign receives
donations from individuals and
groups from across the state.
But O'Brien said Connerly's finan-
cial support is a bit more tenuous.
"You're asking me what Ward Con-
nerly is going to do. I don't know. But
we fully intend to stay with this
issue," he said.
The legal challenges may also
cause trouble in the future. The plain-
tiffs who originally began the now
infamous lawsuit earlier this year
have promised to appeal to the state
Supreme Court, who could once again
invalidate MCRI's petition.
But MCRI thinks an unfavorable rul-
ing from the Supreme Court - who
may not even accept the case - is
"I think that's as unlikely as aliens
landing and coming to collect signa-
tures," Drolet said.
Citizens for a United Michigan - a
group that opposes MCRI and works to
persuade citizens not to vote for the ban
on race-conscious programs, which it
believes to be contrary to civil rights-
promises to continue its efforts to stop
MCRI from gathering the required sig-
natures. Failing that, United Michigan
plans to campaign through 2005 and
2006 to garner support against MCRL.
"Deception and dishonesty are
the hallmarks of this campaign,"
United Michigan spokesman David
Waymire said.
Unlike Drolet, Waymire believes
the Supreme Court will accept the
case and rule against MCRI. But that

ruling could be months away.
In the meantime, the campaign will
push toward October unabated,
despite any activity in the courts.
MCRI asserts that the ending date
has nothing to do with the upcom-
ing elections in November. Both
Democrats and Republicans have
reportedly shied away from the
issue of race preferences. The state
Republican party has balked at the
issue, not wanting to divert atten-
tion from reelecting President
George Bush this fall.
Zarko said MCRI has no political
ties to either party. But the Michigan
Democratic Party in April accused
the group of violating campaign
finance law because MCRI's mail-
ings included a return address of
"Bill Morelli, Candidate for State
Representative." Morelli is a Repub-
lican running for the state House.
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