Will become a temporary home for police officer; later a permanent one for low-income family
Atlanta—Today, Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announces a major victory in the court-ordered seizure of 730 Dill Avenue, a known drug house with a history of significant crime issues that has plagued the community for years.
This week the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office tried a case in front of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shukura Ingram Millender in an attempt to seize the notorious drug house located at 730 Dill Avenue in Atlanta, in the Zone 3 neighborhood of Capitol View. 730 Dill Avenue has been the subject of countless community complaints, including (67) calls for service from neighbors to Atlanta Police, (12) controlled drug purchases, (9) search warrants, various drug crimes, and the July 2, 2016 murder of 48-year-old Vincent Sanders by 43-year-old Kevin Pate, who is serving a 30-year prison sentence for the crime.
“My son was killed in that house. It’s been devastating, it’s been terrible. I am just grateful that this part of its history is gone.”
Son Was Murdered Inside 730 Dill Avenue
730 Dill Avenue became known for the repeated sale of drugs, the storage of drugs, and as a place where people could illegally use narcotics. The owner received (4) cease and desist letters that instructed him to clean up the property or face potential consequences. However, the owner refused to take action and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office made the decision to protect the community and fight to seize the home through the use of Georgia’s drug forfeiture statutes.
“Dill Avenue is a street that rappers rap about being the place to go for drugs and prostitutes. When your street is in rap songs, there’s a problem. This takes a crucial corner of Dill Avenue where the worst of the activity is occurring and gives it back to the community, and that is unbelievable, I cannot even put it into words.”
During the trial, community members and law enforcement officials testified including Sergeant Scott Farais from the Atlanta Police Department, who was very familiar with 730 Dill Avenue.
“This case was actually passed to me by two other investigators that had worked it. It was a never-ending house. It was always my goal to seize the house because it was unheard of.”
Sergeant Scott Farais
Atlanta Police Department
Atlanta Police Department Command Staff and Narcotics Unit members testified that the number of calls for service and the amount of criminal activity that occurred at 730 Dill Avenue was equivalent to that of an apartment complex. During the execution of search warrants at the property, a firearm, cash, cocaine, more than 100 individually wrapped bags of cocaine, marijuana, and multiple cell phones were located. Despite repeated arrests, the occupants continued to participate in illegal drug activity inside and outside the home. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Millender ruled that the State far exceeded its burden of proof through an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of the forfeiture of 730 Dill Avenue.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and Atlanta Housing are in continued discussions to work together in this effort. The joint effort between the two entities would officially be called “The Fresh Start Consortium.” The plan is to rehabilitate the home and turn it over to an Atlanta Police Officer for temporary occupancy before it will be sold to a low-income family. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has identified 88 other drug houses that the DA’s Office will attempt to seize and rehabilitate in the same fashion.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office trial team consisted of Deputy District Attorney Lauren McAuley, Assistant District Attorney Shari Jones, Assistant District Attorney Dustin Lee, and Assistant District Attorney Tristan Gillespie. The Atlanta Police Department led the lengthy investigation that ultimately ended in the seizure of 730 Dill Avenue, including Sergeant Scott Farais and Major Rick Mason.
Picture #1: Left to Right: ADA Tristan Gillespie, ADA Abby Potter, ADA Dustin Lee, Mr. Joe Miller, Ms. Rosalyn Hill, DA Paul L. Howard, Jr., Atlanta Police Sergeant Scott Farais, ADA Shari Jones, Deputy DA Lauren McAuley