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7th District CTF Director Russell Barker stands next to debris from demolished home suspected of drug activity.

“Dangerous drug house” demolished in Oak Ridge

In February of this year, after receiving numerous complaints about alleged drug activity at the house on 306 Vermont Avenue in Oak Ridge, agents with the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force (CTF) and members of the Oak Ridge Police Department SWAT team served a search warrant at the home that resulted in the arrests of four people, the confiscation of drugs and last week, the demolition of the house.

On February 24th, officers arrested Tiffany and Joel Packard at the home on drug-related charges, including violating the drug-free zone, after investigators found Klonopin, a medication used to treat seizures and what field-tested positive for methamphetamine inside the home, which sat across the street from St. Mary’s Church in Oak Ridge. Two other individuals were arrested that day on outstanding warrants. Officers also seized drug paraphernalia from the home.  Cases against all four are still working their way through the county court system.

CTF Director Russell Barker says that law enforcement worked with the Oak Ridge Codes Enforcement Office, which inspected the house at the time of the raid and determined that it was out of code compliance and was ordered demolished.

Last week, demolition on what Barker called a “very dangerous drug house” was completed and the lot was restored to its natural grassy state.

(CTF release)  On February 24, 2017 agents with the 7th Judicial Crime Task Force (CTF) and members of the Oak Ridge Police Department S.W.A.T. team executed a search warrant at 306 Vermont Ave. in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The end result was 4 arrests, the seizure of various drugs, paraphernalia and the demolition of the residence.

Arrested at the scene were Tiffany Packard and Joel Packard. In addition, James Edward Brown and Jackson McGhee were arrested at the scene for outstanding warrants. Drugs found at the scene included Clonezepam and a crystalline substance field tested positive as methamphetamine. Cases against these individuals are still pending in the Anderson County courts. The house at 306 Vermont Avenue is directly across the street from St. Mary’s Church. Demolition of the house and restoration of the lot were completed this past week.

Director Russell Barker of the 7th CTF commented, “We received citizen complaints about this residence from various sources indicating narcotics activity as well as other disturbances. We worked closely with the Oak Ridge Police Department and shut down this very dangerous drug house.” The CTF coordinated with the Oak Ridge Codes Enforcement Office which immediately came to the Vermont residence and inspected the house. The home was out of code compliance and was ultimately demolished leaving only a vacant lot. “We are grateful to the Codes Enforcement Office for their immediate response and wonderful work.”

The 7th CTF doesn’t expect this to be the last. Director Barker stated, “We will continue to push back and push back hard against narcotics trafficking here in Anderson County. In order to protect our citizens, we must do innovative things such as this, because the nature of this type of crime is always changing and nothing sends a better message to dealers than seeing a drug house knocked to the ground.” The CTF plans on exploring further other laws and ordinances which are currently on the books to aid in solving such problems as well as other resources.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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