Confidential informants help ATF, sheriff's deputies in case against alleged West Willow drug dealer
A man faces charges after ATF agents said two confidential informants equipped with audio/video recording devices bought drugs and a gun from him in Ypsilanti Township's West Willow neighborhood.
Roman Whitfield, 34, of Superior Township, was charged today in a federal criminal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm and distributing a controlled substance.
It's unclear whether Whitfield is in custody. Susan Plochinski, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit, did not immediately have details this afternoon.
ATF agents and Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies launched the investigation in May after a confidential informant told ATF that a man known as "Roach," sells drugs in West Willow, court records show. An ATF affidavit says that "Roach," later identified as Whitfield, sold crack and marijuana to the informants May 23 and June 1 at a Calder Avenue home. Documents also detail a meeting June 9 at the home, where the informants went to buy a gun. Whitfield pulled up in a Chevrolet Suburban and an informant saw him wipe fingerprints from a gun, the affidavit says.
Another man who arrived with Whitfield entered the home, where he sold a loaded semi-automatic pistol to the informants in exchange for $500, the affidavit says. Records do not indicate that man has been charged in the case.
One informant told investigators that the gun they purchased was the same gun Whitfield had been seen "carrying on multiple occasions," the affidavit says. The affidavit says one informant discussed buying another gun from Whitfield on June 19, while an ATF agent recorded the conversation.
Whitfield is prohibited from having a gun because he has felony convictions for delivering a controlled substance, malicious destruction of fire/police property, assault with a dangerous weapon, third-degree fleeing and eluding and domestic violence third-offense.
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.