The owner of a home that last week was temporarily seized by the Mobile Police Department for being a “drug nuisance” is allowing authorities 30 more days to inspect the property and has agreed to bring it up to code after that.
If Edward Louis James fails to make the necessary changes then the MPD will continue to pursue a civil complaint to take over the property, MPD Chief James Barber said after a hearing Wednesday morning in Circuit Court Judge Charles Graddick’s courtroom.
“This house has been a nuisance for years,” Barber said. “I think the great thing that you’ll see is that it’s going to stop.”
Carolyn James, 61, the homeowner’s niece was arrested last week at the residence on the 1200 block of Partirdge Street. She was charged with possession of cocaine and spice. After the arrest, city worker’s boarded up the house once Graddick granted a temporary restraining order to do so.
MPD attorney Wanda Rahman told Graddick that Carolyn James was an admitted crack user and would allow dealers to set up shop if the dealer “gave her a rock or two.” The house has been the subject of several criminal complaints, including three search warrants, 12 narcotics buys and eight drug arrests in the last two months, Rahman said.
As part of the agreement reached Wednesday, Edward James won’t allow his niece, or anyone else involved with illegal drug activity back into the house. Edward James said he would comply with the terms of the agreement.
“No one was supposed to be in the house,” Edward James said after the hearing. “I had put a no parking sign and a no trespassing sign outside.”
Although he admitted to serving time for drugs in the past, he said he didn’t do them now and didn’t condone the illegal activity in the house.
“I didn’t like it whatsoever, but they’ll still come anyway,” he said. “I couldn’t stop them.”