MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Martinsburg Police Department started July by shutting down six more drug houses.

Three of the most recent cases were the result of a long-term criminal investigation led by the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. Another stemmed from a Martinsburg Police prostitution investigation with the sixth coming from an Martinsburg Police Canine Unit Drug Investigation.

“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 PD

Since Martinsburg’s Drug House Ordinance was enacted in 2016, 53 houses have been shut down.

The most recent cases were:

  • 414 North High Street, owner Barry Schenberg/Potomac Housing
  • 427 Porter Avenue, owner Steve Barnes/Capital Development
  • 315 South Kentucky Avenue, Donald Evans
  • 316 East Liberty Street, owner Mickey Duncan
  • 612 North Queen Street, owner Mickey Duncan
  • 314 North Maple Avenue, owner Steve Barnes/Capital Development

The owners are scheduled to appear before Municipal Judge Dale Buck on August 28, 2019.

“The Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force is second to none and extremely effective on every level—national, regional, and local,” stated Chief Richards. “Our Task Force is a vital asset and close partner with MPD in shutting down drug houses, locking up criminals, and making Martinsburg a safer and better place to live. We’re making a real difference in Martinsburg and across the Eastern Panhandle.”

Chief Richards thanks members of the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and U.S. Attorney Bill Powell for assisting.

During the raids, five people were arrested and warrants have been issued for two more. Charges include possession with intent to deliver and prohibited persons in possession of a firearm, among others.

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