Police Reports By Annette Christie Endangered Missing Advisory results in rescue Shortly before 11 p.m. on Feb. 11, 2019, at the request of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police (MSP) issued an Endangered Missing Advisory (EMA) for 12-year-old Alexis Ypma and 9-year-old Jenna Ypma of Byron Center, MI. The sisters were believed to be with their father, Joel Ypma, who had reportedly exhibited signs of suffering from some sort of mental episode. When Joel Ypma failed to drop his children off at school on Monday morning, Ypma’s immediate family became concerned. When they were unable to reach Joel or the children after repeated attempts, they contacted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department for assistance, who in turn contacted the MSP. At 12:07 a.m. on Feb. 12, the Mackinac Island Police Department contacted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department to advise that an innkeeper, who saw the EMA on the news, reported the Ypmas were staying on the island. Police followed up on the tip and confirmed that Joel Ypma and his daughters were in fact there and were safe. The only access to and from the island is via airplane and it was confirmed that they had flown in earlier that day. Mackinac Island Police are working to return the family back to Kent County. The MSP created the EMA in 2017, when the state strengthened the criteria for the AMBER Alert to only include cases of child abduction. Knowing that some cases, like this one, would not fit the new criteria, the EMA was created to address these types of endangerment cases. There have been over 90 successful EMAs issued since 2017. The EMA can be used for missing persons of any age who are considered endangered and need the public’s involvement.
Large drug bust results in arrests On Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, Southwest Michigan Enforcement Team (SWET West) Detectives along with members of the Berrien County Sheriff Department, and Michigan State Police conducted a drug sting operation in the City of Benton Harbor. SWET-West had conducted a nine- month long investigation into suspect John Lewis McCoy III, 36, for the sales and distribution of methamphetamine and heroin in the Benton Harbor Area. SWET Detectives were able to take McCoy into custody after observing him conduct several drug transactions in the area of McCord and East Vineyard. During a search of John McCoy following his arrest, detectives located a large amount of crystal meth, heroin, and U.S. currency. John McCoy was lodged in the Berrien County jail on several narcotics related charges including eight (8) counts of delivery of heroin 2nd offense, possession with intent to deliver heroin 2nd offense, possession with intent to deliver crystal meth 2nd offense, and two outstanding warrants for unarmed-robbery and flee & elude police. During this operation SWET Detectives were also able to arrest a co-conspirator Huelester Lewis (40). Lewis was also lodged in Berrien County Jail for two counts of delivery of heroin 2nd offense.