Officials with Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office said this week that the agency has sealed and locked a Mt. Airy garage that was the site of a drug bust in June.
Police seized more than $250,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine from 529-35 W. Sedgwick Street. Five individuals were arrested along the way.
Beth Grossman, chief assistant district attorney of the city’s Public Nuisance Task Force, said the former distribution site will be closed at least until the trial runs its course.
The court order prohibits anyone from entering the garage without permission from the prosecutor’s office.
Grossman said neighbors should contact the District Attorney’s Office if the property becomes a problem and requires “further sealing or securing.”
Garage owner could lose property
Ownership of the West Sedgwick Street locale could ultimately be forfeited to the District Attorney’s Office as a result of the case’s court proceedings.
“It is our burden to present to the court that there is a nexus between the property and the drug dealing and that the owner knew and or consented to the narcotics dealing,” said Grossman.
Grossman said a property owner does not need to be directly involved in a drug operation for the prosecutor’s office to seize control.
Determining if that criminal connection exists may take some time.
Who is the owner?
None of the five arrested at the garage own the property and public records do not list the current owner(s), said Grossman.
“The deed I believe is still in the original owner’s name who I believe is deceased,” she said.
A public online account for the property lists Milton C. Tierney as the owner of the West Sedgwick Street building.
If forfeited, the property would be sold at a public auction run by a private auction house. Forfeited properties are not sold through a Sheriff Sale.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 15.