- Sep 06
MPD Shuts Down Three More Drug Houses—Sees Problems with Repeat Offenders
The Martinsburg Police Department announced today the initiation of three more cases under the city’s “Drug House Ordinance” for the rental properties at 719 ½ Faulkner Avenue, 301 S. Kentucky Avenue, and 314 N. Queen Street, Apartment 3, after combined drug investigations by MPD Patrol and Detective Units and the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.
Chief Richards appeared before Martinsburg Chief Magistrate Ella Buckner to obtain Orders of Abatement to address the illegal drug activity documented at the three locations. The property owners have been identified as: Mickey Duncan, 719 ½ Faulkner Avenue; Napaporn Chusuwan of Sterling, Virginia, 301 S. Kentucky Avenue; and Vickie Stedman, 314 N. Queen Street, Apartment 3. The three landlords have been found to be in violation of the Drug House Ordinance and the latest incident marks the sixth Drug House Ordinance violation for Duncan. Police records show that during the past 12 months there have been 17 total calls for police service at these locations.
The successful case at 301 S. Kentucky Avenue stemmed from a long-term investigation by the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crime Task Force into a crack cocaine selling operation. On June 15th, Task Force officers conducted a search warrant at the location during which they recovered evidence of illegal drug sales and later obtained an arrest warrant for DeAndre Kackley, 21. Kackley was later arrested and charged with Delivery of Crack Cocaine.
Another crack cocaine operation was shut down at 314 N. Queen Street as part of “Operation Spring Cleaning”, MPD’s street-level drug enforcement initiative. Detective Sergeant Adam Albaugh directed an undercover investigation, obtained a search warrant, and with the support of fellow MPD officers and Task Force officers, arrested the apartment’s tenant, Wendell Greene on August 26th. Greene, 58, was charged with Delivery of Crack Cocaine.
Responding to neighborhood complaints of possible drug dealing at 719 ½ Faulkner Avenue, MPD Captain Les Witt led a mission that solved a major problem. Assisted by Canine Unit Officer Ryan Fritz, Detective Jon Smith, Patrolman Larry Meeks, and the Task Force, the team conducted an investigation and established surveillance on the block. Patrolman Fritz conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by two males who had left the 719 ½ Faulkner Avenue residence and recovered 12.8 grams of marijuana packaged for sale in multiple baggies. The vehicle passenger was the apartment’s tenant, David Shane Worrell, 26. Worrell was arrested and charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana. The vehicle’s driver, Timothy Nathanial Butts, was arrested after he attempted to run from the police. Butts, 21, was also charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana. The officers conducted a follow-up search of the residence where they discovered additional evidence of a drug-selling operation including a digital scale, more marijuana, and drug-packaging material.
“This is another outstanding team effort between MPD Patrol and Detective Units, our Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, and community residents,” stated Deputy Chief George Swartwood. “It’s this kind of cooperation that is continuing to improve the quality of life in our community, one block at a time,” Swartwood added.
Chief Richards sees that landlords who have violated the Drug House Ordinance multiple times are a serious problem and that he has, “run out of patience” with repeat violators. “We’ve seen a handful of property owners continue to violate the ordinance, and now we have Mickey Duncan with six. This is totally unacceptable. It looks like some landlords haven’t got the message yet, so we’re going to find another way to get their attention,” Richards said. The Martinsburg Chief is meeting with Police and City officials and will propose amending the ordinance to include “stiff and serious penalties” for repeat violators. Other multiple drug house violators include: Chris Baker, John Orem, Yuen Kim Yee, and the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness—all of whom who have committed three violations each of the Drug House Ordinance.
Duncan, Chusuwan, and Stedman are scheduled to appear before Municipal Judge Dale Buck on October 9, 2019 to provide evidence that they have complied with the Chief Magistrate’s order to clean up the drug problem on his property and prevent it from recurring in the future.
The Drug House Ordinance is an important component of the Martinsburg Police Department’s community-policing strategy and a powerful drug-fighting tool. Since its adoption in 2016, MPD has utilized the ordinance to shut down 58 drug houses. Repeat calls-for-service at these locations have been reduced by 90%. To fight the drug problem, Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Wheeling, Buckhannon, Charles Town, and Elkins have all enacted similar drug house ordinances based on Martinsburg’s.