Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Wilmington’s ‘Drug Town’ hotel agrees to clean up its act

The Carolinian Inn on Market Street has reached a new agreement with the district attorney to reduce criminal activities on the premises. (Port City Daily photo/BEN SCHACHTMAN)
The Carolinian Inn on Market Street has reached a new agreement with the district attorney to reduce criminal activities on the premises. (Port City Daily photo/BEN SCHACHTMAN)

WILMINGTON — After authorities targeted the Carolinian Inn with the first step in a nuisance suit, the hotel’s owners have agreed to take additional steps to reduce the rampant crime Wilmington Police say happen on their property.

According to a release from District Attorney Ben David, “(owners Laxman and Hiri Odedra) voluntarily began a series of measures to improve their property back in 2015. These measures included requiring all guests to present a photo ID and matching credit card with the same name, requiring all guests to complete a registration card for all vehicles and display a parking pass inside those vehicles, and installing security cameras. As a result of these voluntary measures the number of incidents at the motel has steadily decreased in 2015, 2016 and 2017.”

This is a marked change in tone from last week’s press conference and release, in which the DA’s office cited an affidavit filed by Wilmington Police Lt. Stephanie Boucher. The affidavit enumerated the criminal activities that had occurred for a “considerable period of time,” including:  Prostitution, done for money or drugs; the selling of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine; and repeated breaches of the peace, including assaults, robberies, shootings “and other violent and disruptive acts.”

According to Boucher’s testimony, the Odedras were aware of these activities, “but are unwilling or unable to prevent them from occurring.” Boucher went so far as to note that “the Carolinian Inn is commonly referred to as Drug Town.”

Ed West, the Odedra’s attorney, was quoted in the release. West said that the Odedras “appreciate the recognition of their efforts to improve the property by the District Attorney and look forward to continuing to work with law enforcement … the Odedras care deeply about the welfare of their community.”

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