Deputies raid hotel in east Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Deputies raid hotel in east Memphis

The Traveler's Inn on Whitten Road in east Memphis was temporarily closed as a public nuisance Thursday morning, officials said.

Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons and Shelby County Sheriff Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. said deputies in the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Street Crimes Bureaus arrested or attempted to arrest 11 people who were indicted earlier this week for felony drug charges.

Needles with heroin still inside and swords were found along with crack cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. All were next door to children and families staying at the motel.

"We'll be taking very aggressive action," sheriff Mark Luttrell said.

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell and District Attorney Bill Gibbons said it took a year of undercover buys to cuff eight of the 11 suspects.

"We also filed a nuisance action against this location based on the pattern of illegal activities that has been occurring here," Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons said.

They said this bust just skims the surface.

"Over a 12-month period, over 139 times the Sheriff's Office had come to this location due to reported crimes," Gibbons said.

Investigators said prostitution was going on in the motel and they also discovered a meth lab there in March.

"We're going to be watching not just for establishments like this, but businesses that are problems that possibly could be harboring criminal activity," Luttrell said.

The Sheriff and D.A. are working together and said their message is clear.

"Owners and managers of property in this community who condone and allow a pattern of illegal activity will pay a price," Gibbons said.

They hope to auction seized valuables and want the judge to put the padlock on the motel for good.

Investigators are still looking for the three other suspects.

The suspects that are already in custody are scheduled to go to court next Tuesday.

Most of the charges against them are for the sale of crack cocaine, but some included heroin, marijuana, and hydrocodone.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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