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John A. Steakely

Attorney John Steakley is a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. He began his career as the Special Prosecutor for Drug Crimes for a multi-county, multi-agency drug task force in Tennessee, where he represented the State of Tennessee in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases in a 5-county judicial district.

Forsyth County Forfeits an Entire House

Forsyth County Forfeits an Entire House

Drug forfeitures are usually relatively small.  The police might forfeit the cash someone has in their wallet or automobile or the automobile itself, but rarely do you see an entire house forfeited without a fight.  But that's apparently exactly what happened in Forsyth County:

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is now the owner of a single-family home in west Forsyth, whose former residents the agency described as repeat drug offenders.

According to the sheriff’s office, Forsyth County Superior Court awarded it the two-story, 2,500-square-foot home in Sawnee View Farms on Oct. 29.

The house, which has a basement and sits on a half-acre lot, has been valued at about $258,000, according to county tax records.

The sheriff’s office believes this is the first time in recent memory that a house has been given to the county based on criminal activity.

But there is a catch: 

Despite the sheriff’s office taking ownership of the home, the agency still must undergo legal eviction proceedings to expel the people living in what he characterized as a “transient drug house.”

The home will eventually be put on the market, hopefully with an agent, but Piper said the sale will yield little, if any, profit.

The agency must first pay of the liens and mortgages against the property, which total about half the value of the house, he said. They will also pay the costs of the required legal proceedings.

Any remaining money would be handled through the legal guidelines of drug seizure funds.

The home was awarded to the sheriff’s office in a consent judgment, which states Wheeler agreed to forfeit the property.

That's highly unusual, which makes me think there is more to this story than meets the eye.  I can imagine what that might be, but it wouldn't be appropriate for me to speculate.

 

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