Schuette partners with association to host overdose death investigation training

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on Wednesday partnered with the National Attorneys General Association to offer training on issues related to the investigation and prosecution of deaths resulting from opioid overdoses.

“Arming local law enforcement with expertise on how to thoroughly investigate and approach opioid overdose cases is key to breaking the cycle of addiction,” said Schuette.

“Together law enforcement agencies can reduce the availability of opioids and with better investigative techniques, we can find these dealers of death and put them in prison where they belong.”

More than 75 individuals from prosecutor and law enforcement offices around the state attended the training held at the Michigan Department of Attorney Generals Lansing office. The day long presentation covered topics such as investigating overdose deaths, best practice for multi-agency investigations, the role of a medical examiner in overdose deaths and how to better approach investigating overdose cases. The training was sponsored by Attorney General Schuette and National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI).

NAGTRI is the training and research branch of the National Association of Attorxzneys General. Its mission is to provide high-quality, responsive, innovative training to state and territory attorney general offices.

Presenters included Assistant Attorney General (AAG) William Rollstin who over sees the newly created Drug Interdiction Unit in the Michigan Department of Attorney General and AAG Daniel Magee who works on the Drug Interdiction Unit. Other presenters included personnel from the Ohio Attorney General’s office, the Memphis (Tennessee) Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Eaton County (Michigan) Medical Examiner’s Office.

Created in May 2017, the Opioid Trafficking and Interdiction Unit which is part of Schuette’s Criminal Division, is comprised of four assistant attorneys general, each with extensive backgrounds in drug crime prosecution.

The cases have been and will continue to be charged in cooperation with local law enforcement, Michigan State Police narcotics teams and federal agencies.

The unit will also continue to take on felony murder cases in which it is alleged that the delivery of opioids has caused death.

As of August 2018, the unit has investigated and prosecuted cases from 24 Michigan Counties. The unit has received 74 cases from local law enforcement agencies and the Michigan State Police. Nineteen of those cases has resulted in a conviction. Seventeen cases have charges pending and 24 are still under investigation. Three of the convictions have been for delivery of opioids causing death.