Home in subdivision next to elementary school raided for heroin and cocaine sales

A home in large subdivision off of West Silver Lake Road was the focus of a drug bust involving the sale of heroin and cocaine.

A home in a large subdivision off of West Silver Lake Road was the focus of a drug bust involving the sale of heroin and cocaine.

The Traverse Narcotics Team and Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on Lillian Lane Monday night.

The home became the target of an investigation following tips and information from several sources, including neighbors.

"It's our responsibility to stand up and make these people known, and get the word out to the police and get these people taken down," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Neighbors say they've seen suspicious activity at the house for about two years and have been reporting it to police.

"I don't think you can live in any type of a neighborhood, especially a subdivision where there's kids and not be aware of what your surroundings are; what the potential dangers are for your children."

Investigators say they found more than $2,000 cash, a large amount of drugs and packaging material inside the home.

Three people, including the homeowner, were arrested. An additional suspect was stopped by Grand Traverse County deputies leaving the home. The suspects will be charged with use and distribution of heroin and cocaine.

The suspects have been identfied as Antoine Eugene Gogins, Connie Lynn Hamilton-Lowe, David Lafonso Ruff Jr., and Santonya Rose Winstone.

"The fact that it was in a nearby area and that people going to and from this house would go by that school I think that the public has a concern that we also share," said Captain Randy Fewless from the Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office. "I think that no matter where you live this type of activity more than likely goes on. A lot of times it's a matter of law enforcement finding these so that they can take enforcement action. That's where a lot of the times we rely on the public to contact us when they do see suspicious activity."

Lillian Lane is located just a few blocks from Silver Lake Elementary School.

"We are very appreciative of local law enforcement's efforts to ensure that the areas surrounding our schools are safe," said Ken O'Brien, head of safety and security for Traverse City Area Public Schools. "Anything police officers can do to keep illegal activities out of our community should be applauded."