LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — Law enforcement seized a house in Lenoir City Tuesday afternoon due to “recent and continual drug and criminal activity.”

9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson said members of a drug task force and the Lenoir City Police Department cleared and boarded up a house on West Second Avenue. The house has been connected to several deadly overdoses, a shooting that left a 20-year-old dead, and a stabbing.

“We went to the judge with all the information to actually seize the property under the nuisance law,” said Police Chief Don White. “We will remove all individuals around the property. We will serve the property owner with the documents that’s been signed off by the court, and we will board the house up and then it will go into the judicial process and then decisions will be made about what to do with the property after that.”  

White is calling this a heroin house. He hoped that when the house was seized following the discovery of a meth lab in 2011, the person who owned it would turn their life around. However, White says a month-long investigation found this didn’t happen.

“When you take drastic measures like this, you hope that at the end of the day that these individuals get clean and they go back into mainstream society — they get jobs and they learn their lesson and they move on; that’s what we thought we had in this situation,” said White. “Unfortunately in this situation, it turned and went 180 degrees and went back into a life of drugs.”

William Jenkins, who helped board up the home and was recently elected as a county commissioner, grew up in the house.

“I grew up here…from a child all the way up until I was 19 years old, this is where I’d lived,” he said. “And it is unfortunate, being my dad’s house, seeing him go through this. The struggles that he’s in — the struggles that he’s been through. I hate to see him fall back into this lifestyle, but at the same time this is something I want to be able to see our community, this area be able to be in a safe environment.”

Jenkins described seeing and being surrounded by drug use in his childhood as tough, and he went on to say that fully explaining the situation would take too much time. He hopes that this will help his father get clean, but he knew that if his father’s actions did not change, it was likely his house would be boarded up.

“I love him, and I’d do anything I could to help,” said Jenkins. “It was never going to be easy. Yeah, I knew it would come eventually unless they would get things right and straighten up. I’d talked to him and then I offered to do every type of help that I could for him. And I told him I’d always be there for him. And I’ll help in any way I can, but he’s gotta want to straighten up on his own before any help can be offered.”