A Kalamazoo man has been sentenced to federal prison for running a heroin ring in southwest Michigan.

In US District Court in Grand Rapids Wednesday, Quintin Howell was sentenced to 15 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to being involved with the distribution of heroin between 2013 and 2015.

Authorities say that Howell was the "manager" of the heroin trafficking conspiracy, by recruiting people and direction the distribution of the drug. Howell pleaded guilty to using an assault rifle with the serial number "obliterated", and admitted to being involved with over 100 grams of heroin.

Howell was the last of 9 people to be sentenced in connection to the months-long investigation, carried out by the DEA, Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team, the FBI and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department among other law enforcement agencies.

In a release, acting US Attorney for Western Michigan Andrew Birge called heroin “a plague upon our society”, and said that his office will continue working to help fight this epidemic.

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