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Compton : Citation for Drugs Locale

August 06, 1987

The Compton City Council declared the 163-unit New Wilmington Arms apartments a public nuisance this week after hearing allegations that police have repeatedly seized rock cocaine and firearms while making a series of recent arrests at the 700 W. Laurel St. complex.

In 1985, the council had threatened similar action when the complex was made the first target of the city's nuisance ordinance, designed to keep dwellings from being used as a base for drug dealers. If a building owner fails to keep drug dealers off a property, the ordinance permits city officials to seize the property through a condemnation suit.

When Wilmington Arms managers beefed up their private security force, however, arrests at the complex declined and the council backed down. But there was no second chance on Tuesday when the council voted to cite the property owners and follow through with court action if the drug nuisance is not abated.

Councilman Robert L. Adams cast the lone vote against declaring a nuisance, arguing that drug problems had only been found in five of the apartments. To cite the entire complex, he said, would be unfair to its vast majority of law-abiding residents.

Councilman Macxy D. Filer said, however, that anything less than a blanket citation would fail to pressure the apartment manager into taking sufficient action to halt drug activity.

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