Checking up on boarded-up homes in Memphis

The goal was to find out if Operation Blue Crush worked. Action News 5 stopped by three former drug and prostitution houses and found three very different stories.

On March 22nd, Memphis Police arrested Clarence Campbell's next door tenants, accused of running a crack house out of his Franklin Street duplex. Life is different now.

"Quiet and peaceful. No noise, no traffic," Campbell explained.

The 83-year-old says the tenants would intimidate him and refuse to pay rent. He's thankful for the peace, but he's still paying a price. Campbell can't rent out the other half of his duplex. He gets just $500 from Social Security and NIS assistance while his utility bill is $600 alone, but he's not complaining.

"Do the best you can. It's all you can do," he said.

Across town, Memphis Police raided two houses on the 2000 block of Warren Street January 25th. They arrested Freddie Atkins and Wanda Robinson on cocaine sales charges. There's no visible activity there now, but neighbors were too uncomfortable to give comment.

It was a different story on Eloise Road. Police put up no trespassing signs on this house March 30th. They say suspects used half the house to sell drugs, the other for prostitution.

"All my life I've been in the same spot and so that's why it's so important for me to appreciate where I live and be able to look outside and know that this is how normal people are supposed to live," said neighbor Marsharee Wolfe.

Wolfe was disturbed when someone abandoned a pickup on the same property Thursday, but police responded in minutes and towed it away.

"I just wanna thank the Memphis Police Department for doing their job, finally," she said.

But that job is far from over. Campbell says the D.A.'s office told him they won't keep the other half of his duplex shut down for long, but every day it's closed is a struggle for him. Wolfe says she hopes the sting has a lasting effect.