The law director wants the house boarded up for a year.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- As neighbors cheered and applauded, the city law director and Trumbull County sheriff boarded up a home they say was used as a place to sell drugs.
Greg Hicks, city law director, and Sheriff Thomas Altiere received an order Monday afternoon from Judge Peter Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to board up the home at 616 Ohio Avenue N.W.
"It makes me feel good that the neighbors are so happy," said Hicks, who said as law director he is not accustomed to receiving applause. "We asked the judge to declare the house a nuisance and he did. We go back to court in 10 days for another hearing. We are going to ask at that time to have the house boarded up for one year."
Hicks said that if the judge agrees to board up the home for a year, the homeowners, Rose and Fred J. Culp, will be able to occupy the home again after that time, if they show the court that it won't be used as a "drug house."
Drugs found in raid
Hicks noted that the Trumbull County Drug Task Force, with the assistance of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, raided the house June 20. Small amounts of crack cocaine were found.
Fred Culp, who is in the county jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond, was arrested at the time of the raid on three charges of aggravated trafficking and one count of drug possession. He has pleaded innocent and is scheduled to return to municipal court for a preliminary hearing next week.
Rose Culp has not been charged.
Hicks and Jeff Orr of the county drug task force said the activity at the house was causing problems for neighbors. Orr noted that some of the neighbors were being threatened by alleged dealers who were visiting the home.
"There was enough neighborhood concern that people began calling us," Orr said. "The neighbors were tired of it. The only way we can do anything about these type of problems is if we know about them."