21st Drug House Shut Down—MPD Hits King Street Location with Search Warrant

  • 21st Drug House Shut Down—MPD Hits King Street Location with Search Warrant

    21st Drug House Shut Down—MPD Hits King Street Location with Search Warrant

    The Martinsburg Police Department announced today the initiation of another case under the city’s “Drug House Ordinance” for the rental property at 311 ½ W. King Street.  Earlier on Monday, Police Chief Maury Richards appeared before Martinsburg Chief Magistrate Ella Buckner to obtain an Order of Abatement to address illegal drug activity at this location.  William Brown III of Washington, DC is the owner of the latest property found to be in violation of the Drug House Ordinance.  Last June, Mr. Brown had previously been found to be in violation of the ordinance for illegal drug activity by his tenants in a different rental unit within the same building.

    The latest Drug House Ordinance action follows up on the February 10, 2018 search warrant conducted by MPD officers that resulted in the seizure of 30.3 grams of powder cocaine and 9.6 grams of crack cocaine.  Two occupants of the residence, Don Eugene Minor and Sonya D. Holmes were arrested and charged with Possession and Intent to Deliver Cocaine and Possession and Intent to Deliver Crack Cocaine.  Also seized was $362 in suspected drug money.  Minor has previous felony convictions for Distribution of Cocaine and Possession with Intent to Deliver Cocaine.

    MPD officers had responded to a call of a sexual assault at the location but quickly determined that the original complaint was unfounded.  While conducting their investigation, they alertly observed evidence of illegal drug activity inside the apartment which resulted in a search and arrest of Minor.   A third subject was cited for illegal possession of Suboxone by Corporal Marybeth Cole.  While Sergeant Justin Darby and Patrolman Marc Loretta secured the scene, Corporals Justin Harper and Andrew Garcia obtained a search warrant for the entire residence.

    During the search, the officers observed that the apartment’s kitchen had been used to manufacture quantities of crack cocaine and recovered 40  individual plastic baggies of crack cocaine packaged for sale, a digital scale used to weigh the drugs, and drug packaging material.

    Under the provisions of the Drug House Ordinance, property owners are subject to fines if they fail to take appropriate action to abate the problem after 30 days of notification.  The Order of Abatement announced today contains compliance stipulations including abatement of the problem and other actions to prevent the recurrence of illegal drug activity.  The 311 ½ West King Street location is the 21st drug house to be shut down under Martinsburg’s innovative ordinance.

    A notification has been sent to William Brown that he is scheduled to appear before Municipal Judge Dale Buck on March 28, 2018 to provide evidence that he has complied with the Chief Magistrate’s order to clean up the drug problem on his property and prevent it recurring in the future.

    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 to help fight the heroin problem.