U.S. Attorney’s Office Resolves Civil Forfeiture Litigation Involving Charlotte Strip Mall

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today the resolution of a civil forfeiture case involving a strip mall located at 1533 West Blvd, near the corner of West Boulevard and Remount Road in Charlotte.

In making todays’ announcement U.S. Attorney Dena J. King said, “For years, rampant drug dealing and drug-fueled crimes took place on the premises of this strip mall, which impacted surrounding neighborhoods. Partnering with local law enforcement to increase the safety of our communities is one my Office’s highest priorities. I want to thank the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for their work in this case and for their ongoing efforts to keep our streets safe.”

In April 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a civil forfeiture complaint against the commercial property, alleging that, for years, the property had been the site of significant volume of drug trafficking and other crimes, including 14 shootings since March 2017. Since the filing of the civil action, reported criminal activity has greatly decreased, going from recurrent shootings, assaults, and robberies to no reported violent crime on the property. In addition, 28 total calls for service were reported by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department after the complaint was filed, compared to thousands of service calls received in years prior.

During the pendency of the litigation, the City of Charlotte (the City), pursuant to its Corridors of Opportunity Program, offered to purchase the property from its owners and to implement improvements consistent with the West Boulevard Corridor Vision. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has entered into an agreement with the City to dismiss the forfeiture action, and, as part of the agreement, the City has agreed to take short and long-term crime prevention measures at the property to ensure it no longer poses a threat to the residents of the community.

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Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth Johnson and Benjamin Bain-Creed, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, handled the forfeiture proceedings, with the investigative support of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Westover Division and Special Investigations Unit of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.