Police in Michigan Once Staged a Fake Wedding to Bust Over 80 Drug Dealers
Over the years, we have heard of some creative ways that law enforcement gets a "one up" on criminals, but this one takes the cake. Well, the wedding cake I suppose.
Back in 1990, the ultimate trap was set in a Michigan city by police and it led to the arrest of 86 drug dealers. Called the "wedding sting", the hoax took place in Owosso, located in mid-Michigan, on a lovely September day and was a very elaborate trap set for the criminals.
First of all, the bride and groom had actually been operating undercover for several months before the fake wedding was held. Officers Debbie Williams and Lacy Brown were police partners at the time. During their work, they had purchased drugs from up to 50 dealers in the Owosso area. They started realizing that it would be impossible to track down these suspects, as a surge in the illegal activities was happening in the area, and their department did not have the resources or staffing. That's when they came up with the brilliant idea of bringing the suspects to them. How? By inviting all of them to a wedding ceremony.
Officer Brown had once executed a similar idea, but it was a funeral instead of a wedding. This time he chose a happier event to do the large scale drug bust. Again, with limited resources, they had to get scrappy to pull it off. A wedding dress was purchased for just under $20, used the cheapest floral arrangements they could find, and made centerpieces out of confiscated beer bottles. Then it was time to send out the invitations. Keep in mind, the drug dealers knew the two from their undercover operation and were probably happy to see these two getting ready to share a life of drug use and crime together.
For the event, police had retired cops on hand and active ones from surrounding communities. A retired Sergeant from the Flint Police Department was even willing to serve as the minister.
Here are some other creative tactics used for the sting:
- A cardboard wedding cake was actually blue (for police) and decorated with bumblebees (as in "sting")
- The groom's real mother played the role of Maid Of Honor
- The bride had a gun in her garter
- The bride said that as the fake wedding approached, it actually felt real, as she was nervous and excited, as well as the planning going into it.
- The wedding music was performed by a band called "S.P.O.C." ("cops" spelled backwards) and they even played the song "I Fought the Law and the Law Won" which was the trigger to begin the bust
So that song began, the cue to begin the bust and one of the guests suddenly screamed "Everyone here who is a cop, stand up!". Williams grabbed the gun from he garter, and her and "her groom" Moon started identifying all the suspects for the other officers in the room. Needless to say, the guest drug dealers were reportedly stunned and had to be convinced that the wedding was fake and that they were really under arrest. Some thought it was a gag as part of a the real ceremony.
So, even though the two officers didn't live happily ever after as husband and wife, we are pretty sure they had quite the story to talk about for the rest of their lives about one of the most unique drug busts in the history of law enforcement.