How Milwaukee’s Big Money Addicts Heroin Gang Evades The Police


An innovative, violent gang of drug dealers is exploiting the Milwaukee Police Department’s own policy on vehicle pursuits and other rules as it feeds an incessant hunger for heroin across southeastern Wisconsin and contributes to a surging number of murders in the city, say newly unsealed court documents reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The dealers are part of Big Money Addicts, or BMA, one of a number of gangs in Milwaukee that operate on a new, highly mobile business model designed to deliver drugs better and build customer loyalty while thwarting police efforts to arrest them. 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 police 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. 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 later shot a man in a gas station. The dealers build their drug-buying clientele using business cards that advertise bogus businesses, such as a 24-hour towing operation or car repair outfit. They even supply needles for heroin addicts. With sales reaching beyond the city to suburban buyers, the profits are stunning. The records describe drug dealers making $11,000 a day.

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