Why are Detroit drug dealers coming to Richmond?

Why are Detroit drug dealers coming to Richmond?
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - On Wednesday, six men were arrested by the Madison County Drug Task Force in connection with a drug investigation.

Two of those arrested are from Richmond, and the other four call Detroit, Michigan home.

In the past, Richmond police and other law enforcement agencies have been arresting several Detroit drug dealers for decades.

We wondered what attracts these out-of-town drug dealers five hours away to a city of just under 40,000 people.

“It seemed more often than not that most individuals that our informants said they can buy from or knew about drug activity was individuals from Detroit,” said Sergent Detective Joe Lain with Richmond Police.

“We’re on a major corridor with those major cities, and I believe that is providing the kind of access,” said Mayor Robert Blythe. “And I don’t know that there might be some that are taking advantage of the warm and welcoming spirit....we’ll feed you here and if there’s a place available, we’ll put you up overnight.”

“We kind of figured out that there’s family structure of the way these individuals have set up their organizations here,” Detective Lain said.

44-year-old sergeant detective Joe Lain and 73-year-old mayor robert Blythe are lifelong Richmond residents. Throughout the years they have seen the city grow and prosper and an out-of-town element has prospered as well.

“These individuals that are trafficking in narcotics, they would now take these individuals locally in our area and have them do things for them like rent cars in their name have them rent apartments in their name, so these drug dealers are providing the money for this to happen,” said Detective Lain.

The Mayor believes the drug dealers are not operating in just one neighborhood.

“I see this on all sides of town on all economic levels of town; that’s why I use the term ‘a strategic takeover’ and it greatly concerns me,” Mayor Blythe said.

Detective Lain says the Detroit drug dealers tell him Richmond is just a nice place to live. They go on to say even the cops are nicer here than back home and even a bad Richmond neighborhood isn’t so bad.

The Mayor says overall the city is safe. He says legitimate visitors are always welcome.

“You will find a warm welcome and you’ll find a place where so many say ‘I want to live here the rest of my life,’ but if you’re a drug dealer; keep it moving,’” said Mayor Blythe.

Detective Lain says other drug dealers from Ohio have moved in as well.

The Mayor says the city is looking for solutions to lower the number of addicts by building a men’s and women’s rehab center.