CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray announced that, following a successful civil forfeiture proceeding, the U.S. Marshals Service, with the assistance of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, has taken possession of a drug house at 2740 Lytham Drive in Charlotte (Lytham House), which is located roughly 450 feet from South Mecklenburg High School.
The United States’ forfeiture complaint alleged that the Lytham House was the site of significant and serious drug-related criminal activity and posed a threat to the safety and welfare of the surrounding neighborhood. According to court records, the Lytham House was the subject of seventy-nine calls for service to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) since 2013.
More specifically, according to allegations contained in the civil forfeiture complaint, the Lytham House was—in recent years—the site of, among other things: a drug-related double-homicide in which four people were shot; four separate drug overdoses; a first-degree arson where past residents burned down a shed on the property; the storage of a stolen vehicle with the knowledge and consent of at least one of the residents in order to aid with the theft; and numerous instances where law enforcement has found drugs, drug paraphernalia, and individuals in possession of drugs or using the Lytham House in conjunction with the trafficking of drugs. As a result of this activity, the U.S. Attorney’s Office used a provision of Title 21 designed to target narcotics residences in order to pursue forfeiture of the house.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for their work on this case.
U.S. Attorney Murray said, “According to published news reports and interviews of neighbors, as well as the information set forth in the filed Complaint, this house was a scourge on a family-friendly neighborhood near a school. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, federal law enforcement, and CMPD will use all of the tools at their disposal—including but not limited to civil forfeiture—to remedy neighborhood problems caused by property owners who repeatedly allow and encourage criminal activity to plague Charlotte-area neighborhoods.”
Assistant United States Attorney Seth Johnson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the proceedings. (Docket No. 3:20cv110).