District Attorney and MPD Close Four Drug Houses

Broken pieces of sheet rock and rusty nails litter the floor inside the derelict shotgun shack at 2387 Park Avenue in Orange Mound. There's not a piece of furniture in sight.

The abandoned home, which sits next door to the Orange Mound Development Corporation, served as a crack house until it was boarded up over the weekend in a joint effort by District Attorney Bill Gibbons' office and the Memphis Police Department's Blue Crush operation.

The Park Avenue house was one of three houses (the others are located at 2340 Douglass and 321 East McLemore) and one apartment building (1205 Azalia) targeted in Operation Street Sweep XXI. At the Park location, two men, one of whom is a known member of the Crips gang, were arrested for using the abandoned home to sell crack to undercover officers on six occasions. Officers also purchased crack and heroin at the other properties.

Gibbons filed a nuisance petition to close the three houses and evict the tenants in the apartment complex on Azalia last week.

Since Blue Crush began, 155 houses and six businesses have been boarded up or closed down under nuisance petitions.

"Drug dealers are the parasites of our community," said Gibbons at a press conference in front of the Park Avenue property on Monday. "The message ought to be clear to the drug dealers. We're coming after you."

by Bianca Phillips

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