- Apr 09
MPD Utilizes Ordinance to Shut Down Drug Houses 22 & 23
The Martinsburg Police Department announced today the initiation of two more cases under the city’s “Drug House Ordinance” for the rental properties at 351 Rick Street and 308 E. Burke Street, increasing the total number shut down in the City to 23. Police Chief Maury Richards appeared before Martinsburg Chief Magistrate Ella Buckner to obtain Orders of Abatement to address illegal drug activity at these two locations. Mickey Duncan, of Shenandoah Junction is the owner of the Rick Street property and Darrell Redman owns the building on East Burke Street. Both landlords have been found to be in violation of the Drug House Ordinance.
The latest Drug House Ordinance actions resulted from recent arrests for serious drug-related crimes at both locations. On March 30th, MPD Sergeant Adam Albaugh assisted United States Marshals with the Mountain State Fugitive Task Force searching for Sharnjeet Amar Singh, the tenant at 351 Rick Street, who was wanted for violations of a Federal Supervised Release order. The officers located Singh at the residence and also encountered Jahkhiemi Korii Wheeler, an associate and invitee of the tenant who was inside the residence. During the course of their investigation, the officers found Wheeler to be in possession of 8 grams of crack cocaine, 3 grams of suspected heroin, and $1,220 in suspected drug money. The offender was placed under arrest and charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Crack Cocaine and Heroin.
On April 3rd, Sergeant Albaugh and Patrolman Bill Parks went to 308 E. Burke Street, searching for another wanted person. Albaugh and Parks were assisted by MPD’s Canine Unit, Patrolman Ryan Fritz and Police Canine “Atlas.” During their search, the officers discovered evidence of a large-scale drug selling operation inside the residence and Canine Officer Fritz placed the tenant, Mark Anthony Monroe, in custody. Officers recovered approximately 6 grams of crack cocaine, 6 grams of powder cocaine, more than 2 grams of methamphetamine, and $674 in suspected drug money. Monroe was charged with seven counts of Possession with intent to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances including Crack Cocaine, Powder Cocaine, and Methamphetamine.
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.
Notifications has been sent to both landlords to appear before Municipal Judge Dale Buck on April 18, 2018 to provide evidence that they have complied with the Chief Magistrate’s order to clean up the drug problems on their properties and prevent them 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.