MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - After several complaints of drug and gang activity, Memphis Police shut down a pair of suspected crack houses.
MPD's Organized Crime Unit got the green light to board up the properties, which are now being called public nuisances.
“I'm going to move as soon as I can to get to the owner and tear this crap down. Tear it down,” Mayor A C Wharton said.
The pair of duplexes that cops suspect are dope houses could soon be reduced to rubble.
Police director Tony Armstrong says they've been hub of criminal activity in this troubled area dating back to the 90's. He would know, he was in the Organized Crime Unit then.
“I personally have made undercover buys on this street and it's always been something that after I took office the mayor and I have particularly talked about this particular community. And more specifically these particular residents,” Armstrong said
Tenants here kept cops busy the past year.
From April 2011 to April 2012, police made 18 drug arrests, conducted five drug search warrants and made several marijuana and crack cocaine seizures.
Memphis Police says the people they arrested in these duplexes would make bail in a matter of days and would be back here selling drugs. Mayor A C Wharton says he's pulling the plug on that.
“Someone from the city attorney's office on my behalf will come down and ask for an extremely high bail. Look that judge in the eye and say, 'Judge, are you willing to put that sucker on the street with a 10 thousand dollar bond? Someone who has no respect whatsoever with our values?'" Wharton said.
He’s working out the details of the initiative with Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.
The owner of the duplexes is coming under fire as well. Police say he turned a blind eye to what tenants did on his property. He's due in court in August.