ALPENA, MI – 33-year-old Milton Baytops, of Detroit, was sentenced on Tuesday July 30th, 2019, after he was found guilty in 26th Circuit Court for the alleged delivery of illegal narcotics in Alpena.
On March 4th, 2019, 21-year-old Aaron Bissonette, of Alpena, was arrested for the delivery of suboxone, conspiracy to deliver heroin, and maintaining a drug house. Arrested with Bissonette was 28-year-old Chasity Wolff, of Lansing.
The investigation revealed Bissonette was renting an apartment in the 1000 block of W. Washington Ave within the City of Alpena. A search warrant was executed on that apartment during the late evening hours of March 5th. Inside of the apartment authorities located previously convicted drug dealer Milton Baytops. He was arrested following the execution of the search warrant.
Milton Baytops, who was on parole with the Michigan Department of Corrections Detroit Office, was charged with two counts of delivery of heroin and conspiracy to deliver heroin.
Aaron Bissonette was charged with the delivery of suboxone, conspiracy to deliver heroin, and maintaining a drug house.
Chasity Wolff was charged with conspiracy to deliver heroin.
A field test of the substances seized indicated the possible presence of heroin that was laced with Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is considerably more powerful than heroin, and often causes overdoses. Any substance laced with Fentanyl is commonly referred to as ‘fire’ as a marketing concept for street level users, and the term generally implies that the substance can cause death.
During the jury trial, witnesses stated that Baytops found women on social media and then used them to deliver drugs to purchasers to help him avoid detection.
When Milton Baytops was downstate, he made contact with Aaron Bissonette, who he knew to be an addict and who sold drugs locally herself. Bissonette convinced Baytops that Alpena was a good place to sell drugs. She invited him to stay at her Washington Avenue apartment and also offered to help him find buyers.
Baytops accepted the offer. Not long after he arrived in Alpena, he began selling his deadly mix of narcotics. It would not take long before the Huron Undercover Narcotics Team knew something had changed in the community when three people overdosed in very quick succession. Fortunately all three individuals made full recoveries. There were no known deaths from the narcotics that Baytops was selling.
The investigation by HUNT led them to Aaron Bissonette. After her arrest, Bissonette initially refused to cooperate. The woman who was arrested at the same time as she was immediately began cooperating.
According to Julie Riddle with the Alpena News, Wendy Macleod, a witness for the prosecution, testified during the trial that she overdosed on the Heroin that Milton Baytops gave her. Her overdose took a back seat to her addiction. She testified that it did not matter. All she knew was that she wanted more of the drugs.
Macleod advised Baytops to stay out of sight while the women made deliveries of the illegal drugs for him. Macleod was aware that members from the HUNT team were involved in an aggressive investigation but was not certain if the investigation was pointing in Baytops direction.
The jury of five women and seven men listened intently as Wendy Macleod testified about the way that Milton Baytops viewed the overdoses that he was responsible for. Baytops referred to those overdoses as a means of “killing off the lightweights.”
Alpena is not an overly affluent area. Many of those who reside in and near Alpena do not make a great deal of money and are not used to having someone like Milton Baytops among them. The residents honestly care for one another. It was very evident that Milton Baytops did not hold those same values and was a danger to the community.
The jury found Milton Baytops guilty on all counts. The jury found him guilty on two counts of distribution of an illegal narcotic and one count of conspiring to deliver narcotics.
He was immediately sentenced by Judge Michael Mack to a prison term of five to 20 years. The defendant was being held in the Alpena County Jail since his arrest in March. Due to the fact that he was on parole at the time that he was taken into custody on March 6th, he was not given credit for the time that he served waiting for his trail to begin. He is considered a habitual offender. He has already indicated that he plans to appeal the verdict of the jury.
Milton Baytops has previous convictions for:
- Controlled Substance-Maintaining a Drug House (Macomb County)
- Controlled Substance-Creation/Del Counterfeit Subs-Narc/Meth (Macomb County)
- Controlled Substance-Delivery/Manf., Nar/Coc <50 Grams (Macomb County)
- Weapons – Felony Firearms (Wayne County)
- Domestic Violence – 3rd Offense (Kent County)
- Controlled Substance-Delivery/Manf., Nar/Coc <50 Grams – Attempt (Wayne County)
HUNT was assisted with their investigation by the Michigan State Police Emergency Services Team, Michigan State Police K9 unit Alpena Post, troopers from the Michigan State Police Alpena Post and the Alpena City Police Department, and the Alpena Fire Department.