Detroit gas station owner hit with federal charges following fentanyl bust

A gas station owner in Detroit is facing myriad federal charges after more than 90 pounds of fentanyl was discovered inside his stash house, officials said.

Barry Willis, 55, is facing charges including possession with the intent to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl, possession of a firearm in the furtherance of drug trafficking, and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, according to a report.

“This case represents the largest law enforcement seizure of fentanyl in the state of Michigan to date,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said. “We are incredibly proud of our law enforcement partners who conducted this investigation and recovered these deadly substances before they could harm members of our community.”

The seizure of the fentanyl occurred as a result of a September traffic stop tip that informed police that a gas station owner, referred to as “Blue,” was selling heroin, according to the report.

A positive ID of Willis as “Blue” was made using the suspect from the traffic stop, and an investigation ensued, which included surveillance during a heroin deal.

On March 28, Willis’s Clinton Township residence and a believed stash house in Detroit’s Littlefield were searched.

These searches resulted in the discovery of around 90 pounds of fentanyl, six pounds of cocaine, a pill press and drug packaging material, more than $100,000 in cash, watches, a gold chain, and at least two handguns. 

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“This amount of fentanyl has the potential to provide nearly two deadly doses to every man, woman, and child living in the state of Michigan,” Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene said. “We will continue to work with our partners to pursue anyone pushing poisons into our communities and bring them to justice.”

At the gas station, authorities found another firearm and $3,000 in cash, the report noted.

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