MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Police Chief Maury Richards has announced his department successfully shut down three more drug houses in the City of Martinsburg.
The cases were investigated as part of Martinsburg’s Drug House Ordinance, which states:
“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: evicting the problem tenants, other actions to prevent the recurrence of illegal drug activity, and mandating criminal background checks on future tenants to insure they are “free from convictions for prostitution; illegal gambling; illegal possession, storage, or delivery of or trafficking in controlled substances, or other illegal drug activity.”
Martinsburg Police Chief Maury Richards obtained orders of abatement from rental properties at 721 Winchester Avenue, 321 West Race Street and 122 South Raleigh Street. The landlords of those properties were found to be in violation of the drug house ordinance.
Richards described the properties as “problem buildings” with numerous calls including threats, wanted persons, arrests and drug overdoses.
“Canine Officer Ryan Fritz, Corporal Marybeth Cole, Patrolman Rodney Crawford, Corporal Eric Neely, and all our responding officers did an amazing job cleaning up some very big on-going problems that were hurting decent people and families in our community. Having three buildings causing more than 60 calls-for-service in only 12 months is totally unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. These landlords will be held accountable and the problems will be fixed,” stated Richards.
Several people were arrested or cited in connection to the drug houses. Since the Drug House Ordinance was adopted in April of 2016, police have shut down 46 drug houses.
Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg and Fairmont have similar ordinances.