Another house in Loudon County has been boarded up after law enforcement served an injunction following several drug-related incidents at the property.
Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, 9th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office and Loudon County Maintenance Department arrived Thursday to board up the house in the 300 block on Clarke Road in Lenoir City. There were no arrests.
The verified petition for abatement of nuisance lists property owners Cynthia Winfree of Louisville, Ky., Lonnie Raper and Marion Raper, both of Maple Grave, Minn., and Jeffrey Raper of Lenoir City.
According to a release from Russell Johnson, 9th Judicial District attorney general, the residence had multiple calls ranging from drug overdoses, sale of illegal drugs and other criminal activity. Until the court orders otherwise, residents of the house are not allowed to be on the property.
“These operations are a lot of work and it takes a substantial number of verified calls for service that are drug and criminal activity,” Johnson said in an email correspondence. “... These are not something that happen frequently — probably one or two a year, although we are seeing more need for them as the Detroit gangs that traffic in heroin seem to be making their way into our communities through Knoxville for Loudon County and Oak Ridge for Roane County.
“Both meth and heroin, and sometimes even cocaine, which is coming back again, laced with fentanyl, are what is causing both the fatal and non-fatal overdoses,” he added. “When the COVID-19 pandemic began we were first seeing an increase in overdoses and now, as we reached the end of the 2020 year, the violent gun activity related to drug trafficking. Violent crime with guns in 2020 was up 200%-250% in most areas of Tennessee per the (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) statistics.”
Johnson said there have been three non-fatal overdose calls and other activity, the most recent being a drug sale associated with Devin Damascus McGuire, 31, who was charged with attempted first-degree murder after he fired an AR-15 at officers during a pursuit Dec. 27.
Drugs and paraphernalia were found at the residence.
“We had started building a case on it but we’ve had some recent, what we call accelerated, traffic in the recent time span and we decided once those last few incidents had happened there related to other drug investigations, we petitioned the court and they saw fit to go ahead and close it because of the numerous (incidents),” Jimmy Davis, LCSO chief deputy, said. “Basically it was just a good case, built a bunch of evidence against them, finally got enough that we believed the court also agreed we could go ahead and shut it down.”
According to the petition by Johnson, the nuisance property was associated with 17 incidents dating back to January 2019.
The petition recounts a Feb. 16, 2019, structure fire at the property after a woman called 911 and was “hysterical” speaking with dispatchers. When deputies arrived, they found a man using a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and located 75 syringes, six can bottoms with drug residue, a tourniquet, two crack pipes and several spoons with drug residue.
Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider said the house was a destination for “numerous complaints.”
“We’ve certainly had our intentions on trying to get the injunction and get it boarded up for a little bit of time but it takes time in court. Thankfully, it was time,” Guider said.