Two Battle Creek men were sentenced in federal court to five years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute at least 40 grams of fentanyl and a small amount of heroin.

Authorities say the case involving Elias Deshawnte Mills and Ralph Knox II included two drug seizures. One of the seizures followed a traffic stop of a car when Mills was traveling from Detroit, where he obtained fentanyl as well as other drugs, to Battle Creek, according to federal officials. Battle Creek officers found the fentanyl in a woman’s body cavity, police say, after a after a trained canine notified law enforcement of the possibility of drugs by alerting on the seat where the woman was sitting. After a complete investigation, the woman was referred to state rather than federal authorities for consideration of charges.

The other seizure followed a search of Knox’s Battle Creek home where fentanyl was found in an open kitchen drawer. The fentanyl found in Knox’s home was particularly troubling because police recovered it from an open kitchen drawer in a house where four minor children resided, according to a release from the Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Michigan. Both men had prior drug convictions in Calhoun County.

The investigation was conducted by the Battle Creek Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.

mugshot of Elias Deshawnte Mills Courtesy of the Battle Creek Police Department