Greektown convenience store sold more than chips and soda, police say

Written by on May 15, 2013 in Crime - 1 Comment

Police have arrested four and seized loads of cash and drugs following a bust of a Greektown convenience store that the local community had identified as a problem.

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On Wednesday, May 8, at about noon, police raided the first and second floors of the building at 600 Rappolla St., known by locals as “Mama’s” but formally named George’s Grocery and Deli. The first floor housed the convenience store; living quarters were above.

According to Sergeant Edward Davis of the Southeast District Drug Unit, officers found over $32,000 in cash and large amounts of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and prescription narcotics such as oxycodone.

“We found a ton of packaging stuff, scales and all that, too,” said Davis.

Arrested were members of the Speede family: George Speede Sr. and sons George R. Speede and George B. Speede, as well as Maria Speede and Kristina Root, said Davis. Charges include felony possession with intent to distribute, he added.

“They’ve all been charged, and mostly they’re all in jail,” said Davis, adding that the elder Speede is currently being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Davis said that the store was supplying drugs to people from the Greektown community as well as people from just over the city line. Much of the selling was wholesale, with a customer buying 100 oxycodone pills in one transaction, for example, Davis said.

He said that an investigation that had gone on for “at least a year, off and on,” led to the bust. Davis said that calls to the police drug hotline, 410-666-DRUG, as well as complaints from residents and at community meetings, led to a push in the investigation.

“We started building a better case this year,” Davis said. “We had to learn their patterns, and that was the hardest part.”

“For a store, this is pretty unique,” commented Davis, though he added that the same family had been raided back in October of 2007, at 229 S. Broadway.

“It was the same thing; they ran a convenience store down there,” he said.

by Erik Zygmont

One Comment on "Greektown convenience store sold more than chips and soda, police say"

  1. DJ from Graceland Park May 17, 2013 at 7:49 am · Reply

    I used to live about 3 blocks from that store, the whole block used to be a mess, overrun by a critical mass of drop out/no job kids that would hang out on the porches all day. A couple houses were overrun by entire families (multiple generations, cousins, whatever). Even before this bust, that block had gotten a lot better. Some of the houses were condemned. Some of the landlords around there found better tenants. And suddenly, you could walk or drive down that block without much problem again. Now with that operation shut down, hopefully someone will open a legit store or do something else with that space.

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