Tuesday, December 22, 1998

U.S. attorney
files for forfeiture
of Chinatown lot

A civil complaint alleges
that businesses there facilitate
the drug traffic

By Jaymes K. Song


The U.S. Attorney's Office today filed a civil complaint to forfeit a Chinatown building because of alleged drug trafficking.

The building houses Swing Video, Dave's Amusement and Amy's Place, located on North Hotel Street, as well as other operations fronting Smith Street. However, no other businesses were accused of drug trafficking, a U.S. Department of Justice news release said.

The complaint stated the three businesses were allegedly used to "facilitate crack-cocaine trafficking," said U.S. Attorney Steven Alm.

There were 64 undercover purchases of crack cocaine made at the three businesses between Sept. 5 and Dec. 8, Alm said in the release.

The purchases were in addition to the 73 drug arrests in or around the three establishments in the past three years.

Alm also noted that the complaint accused the property owner, Anchor Limited, of receiving several notices of the illegal activity.

Today's complaint is merely an accusation, and the U.S. government will not own the property unless and until a sufficient basis for forfeiture is proven in court, Alm said. Neither Anchor Limited nor any operators of Swing Video, Dave's Amusement or Amy's Place have been charged with criminal offenses resulting from the investigation, he said.

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