The Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team is led by the Michigan State Police and handles drug, auto theft and other major crimes.

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In a press release issued after a LAWNET Board of Control meeting Tuesday, Howell Police Chief George Basar, the board chairman, said the dispute stemmed from an encounter between the head of the unit and a Sheriff's Department lieutenant over a specific staffing issue. Basar said the unit's leader, Michigan State Police Lt. Garth Burnside, became frustrated by what he felt was a pattern of misinformation and "directed an inappropriate term associated with a part of the human anatomy toward the Sheriff's lieutenant."

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department pulled its four investigators from the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team Tuesday, apparently in a squabble with the leadership of the Michigan State Police-led special crimes unit. State police Lt. Garth Burnside, head of LAWNET, a multi-jurisdictional drug, auto theft and major case consortium, said Tuesday that he could not comment because Washtenaw Sheriff Dan Minzey has not notified him of any personnel change.