Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive



Wednesday, February 9, 2000

CORNYN SUES TO SHUT DOWN DRUG AND GAMBLING 'HAVENS' IN WACO AND THE METROPLEX

Action taken against Waco convenience store, apartment complex and Fort Worth crack house

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced the filing of three civil lawsuits against three property owners in Waco and Ft. Worth. One of the Waco lawsuits is filed against Albert Burgess, the owner of the property located at 1924 J.J. Flewellen. The property is the MLK#3 convenience store. The second Waco lawsuit is filed against The Villages, LTD., owner of The Villages Apartments located at 1100 North 6th Street. The Fort Worth lawsuit is filed against Wilma Henderson, the owner of a house located at 1301 New York Avenue. These lawsuits were filed at the request of the Waco and Fort Worth Police Department because of repeated illegal drug, alcohol and gambling activity on the properties.

"If you allow your property to be a haven for illegal activity, you will be shut down. This action would not be possible without the hard work of the Waco and Fort Worth Police Department, and I commend them for their efforts," said Attorney General Cornyn.

From January to December of last year, 220 calls for police service and 30 offense reports were generated from illegal drug, alcohol and gambling activity at the MLK#3 convenience store. The Waco Police Department reports that the MLK#3 store is near the Rapoport Academy, a charter school, resulting in students and teachers seeing frequent gambling and drug dealing.

Over 900 calls for police service have resulted from illegal activity at the Villages Apartments in Waco. From January 1998 to July of last year, Waco P.D. was called to investigate instances of sexual assault, burglary and murder. Nearly 30 offense reports have resulted from illegal drug activity at the Village Apartments.

Illegal drug activity at the house located in Fort Worth has generated over 20 offense reports. Fort Worth P.D. reports that the owner of the house has continually allowed drugs to be sold out of her home since 1998.

Each Attorney General's lawsuits asks the court to shut down each property for a year, unless the property owner posts a bond of $10,000.

Texas law allows the Attorney General to file suit against properties that constitute common nuisances by virtue of repeated criminal activity. Since Attorney General Cornyn took office, 11 nuisance abatement lawsuits have been filed against different properties.

The lawsuits, filed in McClennan and Tarrant County District Courts, were filed by Assistant Attorney General Kent Richardson and Assistant Attorney General T.J. Patterson of the Atttorney General's Civil Enforcement Section, Special Crimes Division.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050