Public Nuisance Triplex Closed for 1 year
LAKELAND, FL (August 18, 2014) On August 20, 2014 at 10:00am, the Lakeland Police Department will be boarding up property located at 919 North Iowa Avenue, an apartment building consisting of three (3) apartment units (“triplex”). We will also be posting signage stating the triplex was closed as a public nuisance. This is the third location LPD has closed within 9 months and is the first triplex closed as a nuisance. The Lakeland Police Department continues to work towards improving personal safety for residents and landlords by keeping drugs and other illegal activity off their property. Several members of the Lakeland Police Department will be present to discuss the abatement process and answer questions.
The Lakeland Police Department had received numerous citizen complaints about drug activity at this location. Detectives using confidential sources purchased felony amounts of marijuana from apartment #2. On May 22nd, a search warrant was executed at apartment #2 and the following items were seized: approx. 17 grams of “crack” cocaine in 9 separate baggies, 58 grams of cannabis in 26 baggies, a mask, scales, loaded .380 caliber handgun, magazine and 9mm rounds and drug paraphernalia. Detectives were also able to determine that two individuals that left apartment #2 just prior to the search warrant were staying with the resident in apartment #1.
Detectives observed cannabis cigarettes on the window sill of apartment #3 and as a result obtained a search warrant that same day on May 22nd. The following items were seized: approx. 27 grams of “crack” cocaine in 2 separate baggies; 3 cannabis cigarettes, approx. 22 grams of cannabis in a baggie; a 40 caliber handgun; and a 38 caliber round along with a box of .357 caliber rounds.
On May 23, a confidential source informed LPD that deliveries of controlled substances resumed at apartment #3 and this same day a confidential source purchased “crack cocaine and cannabis from an occupant inside of apartment #3.
On June 11, 2014, a second search warrant was obtained for apartment #3 and the following items seized: approx. 12.31 grams of “crack” cocaine, 52 grams of cannabis, and 4 pipes used to inhale cocaine.
In July, detectives recovered two additional firearms from a vehicle that had just left the parking lot of 919 North Iowa Avenue. Two individuals that were identified in the parking lot were staying with a resident in apartment #1. Detectives testified that the illegal controlled substance activities occurring on the property have involved all 3 units of the property including that the tenant residing in apartment unit #1 had direct knowledge of the illegal controlled substance activity occurring in units #2 and #3 of the property.
Lakeland Police Department General Counsel Roger Mallory presented an overview of the case to the to the Nuisance Abetment Board stating that it constitutes a “public nuisance”.
The Nuisance Abatement Boards findings were:
1. The entire Property, apartment #1, #2 and #3 has a reputation as a location where controlled substances are illegally possessed and can be illegally purchased.
2. The Boards finds that qualifying illegal controlled substances activity is inextricable intertwined with the entire property.
3. The Boards finds that a period of closure of the property for 1 year is necessary to discourage continued unlawful controlled substance activity on the Property and to abate the public nuisance.
Closure will take place:
August 20th, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
Location: 919 N. Iowa Avenue.
The doors and windows will be boarded up at that time as well
as a sign being posted in the front yard stating that property is closed as a drug nuisance.