City workers used plywood to cover the entrance of a home on Partridge Street Thursday afternoon, immediately following a drug arrest.Police labeled the home of 61-year-old Carolyn Shavette James a “drug nuisance,” after undercover officers previously made purchases of marijuana and cocaine at the residence. In a first-of-its-kind response, the MPD had the house boarded up, following James’ arrest for possession of cocaine and spice.
“We’ve never done this to a resident before,” said MPD spokeswoman Ashley Rains of boarding up the house.
James was out on bond from an arrest
Chief James Barber said the MPD now takes control of the property owned by the suspect’s uncle, Edward Louis James, through a temporary restraining order. Edward Louis James wasn’t charged.
“(Carolyn James) is being evicted because the property continues to be a problem,” Barber said. “She’s not homeless, we’ve given her a place to stay.”
Under the court order, Barber has a week to present evidence supporting the claim the home was a drug nuisance. Barber said there would be a hearing in Judge Charles Graddick’s courtroom Wednesday.
The MPD outlined some of the issues with the residence in a letter served to the owner Wednesday evening.
In the letter, Capt. Jack Dove wrote that the MPD had received a “number of citizen reports concerning illicit drug activity.” In addition, he wrote that officers have responded to reports of shots fired on at least two occasions.
Two search warrants have also been executed at the home, according to the letter, and on those occasions, multiple suspects were arrested and charged with both felony and misdemeanor offenses involving illegal drug activity.
Ninety-one similar letters have also been served on houses throughout Mobile that have previously been served with search warrants for drugs, Barber said.
“All owners have been notified and it won’t be tolerated,” he said.