GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of running drugs from Texas to Michigan, sourcing distribution in the Battle Creek area, now faces a federal charge.

Jorge Medrano is accused of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, a criminal complaint filed in federal court on Sept. 6 says.

The document also lists eight other people from the Battle Creek and Jackson areas, accusing them of being part of Medrano’s drug ring. One of them, Susan Powers of Grass Lake, who feds say worked for the Columbia School District in Jackson County between 2015 and 2021, is accused of being a drug and money courier for him.

The criminal complaint says Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Battle Creek Police Department have been investigating Medrano since October 2022, when an informant came forward to say he was supplying cocaine dealers in Battle Creek.

The document, written by an HSI agent, says Medrano lives in Texas near the Mexico border and outlines months of surveillance on his movements, including tracking his cellphone, obtaining text message records and following Medrano and other suspects. Investigators said the records showed repeated contacts between Medrano and the other suspects listed in the complaint, as well as other people in the region known to deal drugs.

The document references several of Medrano’s trips from Texas to Battle Creek between February and September of this year, including visits with Powers to other suspects’ homes, presumably to move drugs and money.

On Sept. 5, while Medrano was in town, investigators raided Powers’ house and a storage unit in Michigan Center, between Jackson and Grass Lake, where the ring was believed to be stashing drugs. At the house, the complaint says, investigators found drug sale paraphernalia like plastic bags and scales, suspected cocaine, at least $15,000 in cash and a number of guns. At the storage unit, a drug-sniffing dog pointed investigators who what they believed to be black tar heroin.