Police padlock home allegedly used to distribute cocaine

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 11:59am
2326 Merry St.

A battered, white house on the dead-end Merry Street was a cocaine distribution “haven” for years, according to police. Today it’s boarded up and padlocked.

Wednesday night Metro Police officers — acting on a nuisance petition from the office of the District Attorney General and an order by Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn — shuttered the single-family home set off by itself at 2326 Merry St., declaring the residence a public nuisance.

Blackburn issued a temporary injunction and padlocking order Wednesday, requiring the North Nashville home to be boarded up and closed at least until a hearing can be held later.

In a release, police said the petition filed by the district attorney’s office specifically names 57-year-old Matthew Carter, a convicted felon and relative of Lucille Carter, who is listed as the home’s owner. Police believe she hasn’t stayed at the property for a while due to her advancing age and health needs.

Matthew Carter wasn’t at the home when police arrived Wednesday and is still being sought.

According to police, narcotic detectives bought cocaine from the home seven times between April 6 and April 21, and Matthew Carter allegedly sold officers cocaine in six of the seven buys at the home. Further details of the nuisance petition remain under seal.

The padlocking is the first of its kind for a Nashville single-family residence, according to police, who said officers have responded to more than 200 calls involving the home over the past 11 years. Police said investigations stretching back to March 2009 document continued cocaine sales in spite of police enforcement.

The Merry Street home is within close proximity of both the Merry Street Church of God and Mt. Nebo Baptist Church on Clifton Avenue.

Matthew Carter was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2001, for which he received an eight-year sentence, and a felony cocaine offense in 2009, for which he received a six-year sentence.

Police expect Carter to face multiple felony drug counts.

In the past, police and the district attorney’s office have worked together to padlock businesses, specifically motels and nightclubs, that they deemed public nuisances due to the volume of illegal activity found there. 

Last July, police shuttered the Harding Inn at 324 Harding Place near Interstate 24 for what they called rampant drug and prostitution activity in and around the motel.

3 Comments on this post:

By: tomw on 4/28/11 at 10:46

let's see.... 6 year sentence for a felony drug conviction after a voluntary manslaughter conviction.. 2009 -2011=2yrs. this system is so broken when two time felons are back on the street in less than 1/3 of a sentence. Third times the charm!!

By: Radix on 4/29/11 at 8:37

Past 11 years?! Why did it take so long?!

By: RTungsten on 4/29/11 at 12:32

"detectives bought cocaine from the home seven times between April 6 and April 21, and Matthew Carter allegedly sold officers cocaine in six of the seven buys at the home"

So, 5 of 6 times is OK apparently. Wow.