An innovative, violent gang of drug dealers is exploiting the Milwaukee Police Department's own policy on vehicle pursuits and other rules as they feed an incessant hunger for heroin across southeastern Wisconsin and contribute to a surging number of murders in the city, newly unsealed court documents show, reports the Milwaukee, Wis., Journal Sentinel.
The dealers are part of Big Money Addicts, or BMA, one of a number of gangs in Milwaukee that operates on a new, highly mobile business model designed to better deliver drugs and build customer loyalty while thwarting police efforts to arrest them, records show.
The gangs are selling heroin and cocaine from cars, shifting dealing away from drug houses and sales on foot or bicycle and creating rolling drug operations.
They heavily tint their car windows, often to a degree that is prohibited under city ordinance. The tint is enough for police to pull over the cars, but if the driver flees, under department policy, officers cannot give chase unless they have evidence an occupant has committed a violent crime or is a threat to the safety of others. And the tint often prevents police from seeing what is going on in the car and gathering the evidence they would need to give chase.
In one case, a BMA dealer who taunted police and fled in March later shot a man in a gas station, according to a criminal complaint.
The Big Money Addicts and people associated with the gang are suspected in a series of crimes ranging from heroin dealing to homicide, felony possession of a gun to car theft, according to the search warrant affidavit, written by lead investigator and Milwaukee police officer Dean Newport, who works on a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives task force.