Drug Bust in Subsidized Housing
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
Ten people were arrested Friday. But police say the worst part is that four infants were within reach of the drugs.
Gainesville Housing Authority makes each tenant sign a strict agreement stating if they get arrested for one of a multitude of offenses, they can be evicted. Viola Williams name is one such agreement. But she's now behind bars for maintaining a drug house, child abuse and possession of cocaine and drug paraphenalia.
The repair work is being done Monday afternoon at Viola Williams' subsidized duplex on Seminary Lane. But the real damage was Friday night when Gainesville police busted through, arresting ten adults on a variety of drug and other charges and finding four babies within reach of the illegal goods.
"It is a lot of people, especially to be in one apartment," says Ofc. Summer Hallett with Gainesville police. "It's a lot of people to arrest off one search warrant."
Gainesville Housing Authority Deputy Executive Director Bernadette Woody says Williams moved in in August 2006. Like all other applicants, she had to pass a strict background check showing she had not just been convicted, but not even been arrested for a laundry list of offenses in the last five years. But in january, police arrested a guest of hers for possessing 27 grams of cocaine in a glass jar--violating the one- strike policy.
"We tried our best to get her out of here," says Woody. "She had a case pending in court right now, so i think we are being very good stewards of taxpayer's dollars."
But her court date isn't until May. Woody says ever since the eviction notice, according to neighbors, it had gotten even worse despite repeated warnings.
"We have about 95% of the residents who are good residents," says Woody. "It's only a few that are not good, who want to violate the law and violate the lease."
GPD hopes to find any other similar drug havens in the area.
"Ultimately the two losers here are the taxpayers and the children," says Hallett.
None of the neighbors who spoke with WCJB were willing to go on camera, but they said there were always people coming and going from the house at all hours of the day and night. They were thankful to see it is now vacant.
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