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Surprising discovery meets Sturgis police during drug bust

STURGIS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Police in St. Joseph County made a surprising discovery during a drug bust Wednesday.

Two cars spotted at Wal-Mart in Sturgis carried not only large amounts of meth, but were also packed with stolen goods.

The Narcotics Unit later found even more drugs at one of the suspect's homes in White Pigeon.

Police tell Newschannel 3 that the busts were quite significant.

Sturgis Detective Ryan Banaszak says the stolen goods came from home invasions spanning three to four counties, and there were some pretty valuable items in the mix.

"Unfortunately, people who are addicted to narcotics and meth--which is a highly addictive drug--will do whatever it takes to get that drug, and oftentimes it involves other crimes such as home invasions," said Banaszak.

Officers also found nearly 1/4 of a pound of crystal meth in the cars.

"It's roughly $5,000 to $6,000 worth of methamphetamine," Banaszak said. "That's a substantial amount of methamphetamine, much larger than we normally see in cases around the area."

The investigation led to one of the suspects' homes in White Pigeon, where police found more meth and marijuana.

Newschannel 3 spoke to neighbor Tony Rice, who lives next door with his daughter.

"We're tired of it, because that's why we live out here; it's a quiet place; it's a quiet place for our kids," Rice said. "We don't have to worry about our kids, but then we've got people like this, and they're no good."

Rice says he's relieved his neighbors got caught before someone got hurt.

"Too much worry; too much worry for this quiet area and I'm glad to have some peace of mind, and I told the cop that, and I told him 'Thank you,'" Rice said.

Police are now working to return all the stolen items to their rightful owners.

The three people arrested in connection with the case now face charges ranging from delivery of meth to possession of stolen property.