The Michigan State Police arrested two suspects in a Hillsdale County drug bust on April 7.
MSP troopers arrested 29-year-old Kyle Bertok and 44-year-old Larry Estel in execution of a search warrant, according to Cmdr. Sean Street of the Region of Irish Hills Narcotics Office, a division of the MSP.
Police searched Bertok’s residence on the 9800 block of Cranberry Lake Road north of Jonesville where they seized methamphetamine and several pistols, a press release said.
Street said police originally only intended to arrest Bertok.
“Delivery of methamphetamine piqued our interest to get involved in the investigation,” Street said. “We received some information that he was delivering quantities of methamphetamine, and we also received information that he did have some firearms with him as well.”
For safety reasons, troopers waited until Bertok left the property to pull him over and arrest him, according to Street. Estel was in the same vehicle and allegedly in possession of meth, Street said, so officers arrested both men before searching the property.
Bertok faces two weapons charges, three driving charges, and a charge for meth possession, according to JailTracker. Bertok also faces a charge for previously failing to appear in court.
Estel faces a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, along with a meth possession charge, according to JailTracker.
Detectives from RHINO worked with an emergency support team, state troopers from Jackson, and a K‑9 unit to conduct the raid, according to a press release.
“I was away from the scene at another situation related to the search warrant, but arrived shortly after the EST team made their entry and secured the individuals there,” Street said.
After Street arrived on the scene, he said he found many individuals were cooperative.
“Everybody that was at the location not related to the suspect was very cooperative, very cordial. They asked about their rights, which is outstanding to hear,” Street said. “It was a good back-and-forth. They’re part of the community, but unfortunately they were involved in a problem that somebody else brought to them.”
Street said he suspects this drug operation is connected to a larger network.
“We do have suspicions on larger networks, and we’re trying to see where the people that we bust fit into the larger networks,” Street said. “So no specific information, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it is linked to a larger operation.”
RHINO focuses on both low-end and high-end drug dealers to piece together drug trafficking networks, according to Street.
“Every time that we do a search warrant, we retain a little more information on that suspect, and that leads us to larger targets,” Street said.
This operation was part of a larger effort to prevent crime in the Hillsdale area, according to Street.
“We wanted to be proactive,” Street said. “A lot of the narcotics lead to violent crime, theft, all that good stuff – so I really wanted to set the bar on it before it gets out of control.”
Police ask that anyone with information on drug activity call RHINO at 517 – 265-5787. Callers may remain anonymous.