Police bust gang-operated drug house - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police bust gang-operated drug house

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis police hit the streets Saturday to arrest 51 previously indicted suspects that sold narcotics to undercover officers.

"This house, everybody knew who, that this house was here," Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said.

Monday, Godwin led tours of what he called a "crack house" operated by a gang known as the Grape Street Crips.

"It's set up pretty well," he said. "They were making their money, and they had everybody in the neighborhood scared to say anything about it."

Investigators said the sellers used the house's kitchen to make their products. Manufactured drugs were stored in a wall and sold out a bathroom window.

Godwin showed off tools used to make crack cocaine, as well as a gun that was stored in another wall in the house.  Memphis police shut down the house Saturday, when undercover officers went on the prowl during an Operation: Blue CRUSH mission that resulted in 87 arrests.

"Until you change the environment, it'll just be a different cast of characters," Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said.

Wharton added police can do only so much.  The real problem, he said, is areas where blight and crime breed off of each other to create more of both.

Wharton said his administration is dedicated to fixing the problem.

"It's code enforcement," he said. "You're going to see that enhanced. If it comes to increasing our budget, we're going to do that."

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