- Dec 19
MORE MARTINSBURG LANDLORDS STEP UP TO FIX DRUG HOUSE PROBLEMS
The Martinsburg Police Department announced today the successful resolution of four more drug house cases with the full cooperation of the property owners. Mr. Steve Cunningham, owner of 527B West Addition Street; Mr. Joseph Mareck, owner of 601 North Queen Street; Mr. Steve Sagi, owner of 109 East Liberty Street; and Ms. Kathy Grimm, owner of 723 South Raleigh Street, all promptly worked with police to abate the public nuisances as soon as they were notified of the problems. The problem tenants have vacated the properties owned by Cunningham and Mareck and these cases have been dismissed. Abatement efforts are underway for Sagi’s and Grimm’s properties, and the eviction process will be used if necessary, to fix the problems. All property owners are now in full compliance with the ordinance.
Martinsburg’s Drug House Ordinance had been triggered by verified incidents of illegal drug activity at the locations, prompting Police Chief Maury Richards to appear before Municipal Magistrate Ella Buckner to obtain Orders of Abatement to resolve the problems.
“As responsible property owners, Steve Cunningham, Joe Mareck, Steve Sagi, and Kathy Grimm acted immediately to abate the problems as soon as they were notified. They were on top of the issues right away,” stated Chief Richards. “Within hours I was either meeting with them or their property managers or speaking with them on the phone. They have done everything possible to abate the problems and stopping them from recurring. This is a great example of the cooperation we need between property owners, MPD, and the community. Steve Cunningham, Joe Mareck, Steve Sagi, and Kathy Grimm are conscientious landlords who have a zero-tolerance policy on this type of illegal drug activity taking place on their properties. We look forward to continue working with them to make Martinsburg a better place for decent families to live in,” Richards added.
MPD has successfully shut down 19 drug houses with Martinsburg’s innovative ordinance. Under the provisions of the Drug House Ordinance, property owners are subject to fines if they fail to take appropriate action to both abate the problem and take steps to prevent its recurrence. The Martinsburg Drug House Ordinance applies to owners of both rental and owner-occupied property. Huntington, Parkersburg, and Clarksburg, West Virginia have enacted similar drug house ordinances based on Martinsburg’s model to help fight the heroin problem.