Clements Property Declared a Nuisance Due to Drug Activity



This home on Horse Shoe Road in Clements has been declared a public nuisance for the years of complaints of drug activity there. (Image via Google Maps) This home on Horse Shoe Road in Clements has been declared a public nuisance for the years of complaints of drug activity there. (Image via Google Maps)

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (December 06, 2018)—A home in Clements that has long been the focus of numerous drug investigations and warrant raids has been declared a nuisance after the county attorney's office successfully prosecuted a case in District Court in November.

Several county law officers testified that the home, 24550 Horse Shoe Road, had been a nexus of drug activity, including storage and sales, for several years.

The ruling by Judge John Slade III included barring four people who once resided at the house from ever returning and compels the owners of the home, Juanita Chase and Francis and Carol Price, to come up with a plan to ensure the property will no longer be a nuisance to the public that must be submitted to the court in 30 days from the time of judgement.

If the owners do not comply, they could be held in contempt, according to information from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, and the property could eventually be sold under certain conditions.

Attorney James Tanavage filed the civil complaint on behalf of the county and pursued it in court.

"We originally thought about going after it under the blight ordinance," Tanavage said. "We kind of stumbled on the nuisance statute to be honest."

Tanavage said the home had been the subject of two successful warrant searches for drugs and paraphernalia already this year, with the latest being in April.

That raid recovered a major haul of illegal narcotics, said Tanavage.

"There were [drug] calls going to that house dating back to the 1980s," Tanavage said of police testimony. "The evidence was pretty overwhelming that the house had been used to store and sell drugs for the past seven or eight years, at least."

The people who had been living in the house were family members of the owners, said Tanavage.

Of the four people forbidden from returning to the home, Tanavage said, two were already in prison serving lengthy sentences related to narcotics.

For more local stories from the County Times newspapers, visit countytimes.somd.com or find a copy on local news stands.

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