Crime

Second drug house shut down under Clarksburg's new ordinance

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - The Clarksburg Police Department shut down a second drug house under a new city ordinance Thursday.

Clarksburg Police Chief Robbie Hilliard issued the order of abatement to Judy Hood, of Stonewood, for property owned at 402 Stealey Avenue in Clarksburg under the city's Crime-Free Rental Housing Drug House Ordinance, according to police.

Judy Hood's son, Jeremy Hood, failed to appear in Clarksburg Municipal Court by noon on Thursday, so the order was issued, police said.

"This property was a place that extensive drug use was occurring," Hilliard said.

In addition to law enforcement, the Clarksburg Code Enforcement Office has placed the residence under condemnation and has met with Judy Hood as to what will be required of her to have such order lifted.

Judy Hood has been ordered to appear before Clarksburg Municipal Judge John Martin on Tuesday, April 24, police said.

"I commend the Clarksburg Police Department as they are utilizing this tool to continue the multifaceted approach to combat the drug issue," said City Manager Martin Howe. "It takes all agencies and communities to work together to decrease the use of drugs."

Under the provisions of the Drug House Ordinance, property owners are subject to fines if they fail to take appropriate action to abate the problem after 30 days of notification. The orders of abatement contain compliance stipulations including evicting problem tenants, taking other action to prevent the recurrence of illegal drug activity and maintaining criminal background checks on future tenants to ensure they are "free from convictions of prostitution, illegal gambling, illegal possession, storage or delivery of or trafficking in controlled substances or other illegal drug activity," city officials said.

The new Drug House Ordinance applies to owners of both rental and owner-occupied property, officials said.

Officials said the drug house ordinance is also being successfully used in cities such as Martinsburg, Parkersburg and Huntington.


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