TEASER Aberdeen Flag

Photograph by Jaymie Baxley/The Pilot

The Aberdeen Board of Commissioners on Monday authorized the town attorney to take legal action in connection with a property that has been linked to numerous reports of illegal activity.

Addressing the commissioners, town manager Paul Sabiston said the Benjamin Street property has “been used in a questionable manner for some time now.” He said the owner of the property, identified in tax records as William James Taylor, lives in Texas and rents out the house.

“There were some issues there with the activities going on at that property and statutorily, there was a way to basically move forward with a nuisance violation based on illegal activity that is going on,” Sabiston said.

In a memo to the commissioners, town attorney T.C. Morphis explained that the activity fell under “offenses against public morals” as outlined in Chapter 19 of North Carolina’s General Statutes.

“Unlike ordinary nuisance abatement matters, which typically involve high grass and weeds and accumulated rubbish on a property, Chapter 19 authorizes local governments to bring lawsuits and take other action to stop operations that likely involve repeated illegal activity such as the illegal possession of controlled substances and breaches of the peace, such as fighting and assaults,” Morphis wrote in the memo.

He added that Sandy Thompson, who rents the property, has “tentatively agreed” to sign a consent judgement that would require him to install surveillance cameras and maintain “adequate lighting” at the property. But Morphis said a complaint must be filed in Moore County Superior Court before the town can enter into a consent judgement.

Police Chief Carl Colasacco told the commissioners that the Aberdeen Police Department has been in contact with state Alcohol Law Enforcement agents about the property, but he did not go into detail about specific allegations and did not respond to a message from The Pilot on Tuesday.

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