Pickens City council hears of alleged ‘meth house’

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — A group of residents asked Pickens City Council for help in with a neighbor at a meeting Monday night.

Marty Harris served as spokesman for the group. Harris said the neighbor’s property has no gas hook-up, no water connection and no other signs of a normal lifestyle. Harris said he thinks the neighbors are operating a “meth house.”

Harris said the neighbors had been arrested several times.

“They arrest them, then we see them back on the street again,” Harris said. “Quite frankly, we’re tired of it.”

Harris said it has gotten to the point that when some neighborhood residents go into town, they feel the need to call a neighbor to watch their property.

Residents of the property have been arrested 15 times on 38 charges, according to Harris.

“Sometimes I feel like somebody needs to put them out of everyone’s misery — just put them in jail and just leave them in there,” he said.

According to Harris, the neighbors openly use drugs in their backyard and there are allegedly often females seen walking around in their underwear at the home.

Harris said he was recently awakened at 4 a.m. and found his neighbors outside, where one said of the other, “He’s on drugs.”

“I told him, ‘obviously both of you are on drugs if you are in somebody’s yard at four in the morning,’” Harris said.

Harris urged the city to take action before a conflict between the neighbors turns into something serious.

He said many of the neighbors have already purchased guns for protection.

“The best analogy I can make is if a road has a bad intersection, after a few wrecks they decide to put a traffic signal,” Harris said. “We do not need to wait until something happens and one of us gets hurt to do something about this. It’s time to stop it now before it can reach that point.”

Harris said he is very pleased with the attention Pickens police have shown.

“I know that all you can do is arrest them,” Harris said. “You don’t have any control over what the judges do.”

Another neighbor present at the meeting alleged that drug addicts come and pick up their drugs every Friday, which does not make the neighborhood safe for any children or grandchildren.

Assistant police chief Travis Riggs admitted that he would not want alleged meth dealers as neighbors.

As far as the many people the neighbor invites to his home, Riggs said, “you’ve got a right to invite people to your home, even if they are scum.”

Riggs shared the concerns of the neighbors.

“I feel for you all I can,” Riggs said. “We lock them up. We can’t do anything past that.”

“We know y’all have got a problem,” mayor David Owens told the residents in attendance at the meeting. “It’s been going on for a long time. If we have to work a little bit harder, we’ll work a little harder.”

Councilman Fletcher Perry asked if the neighbors had enough information to identify the house as a meth house. Riggs said they did not.

Perry commended the residents for bringing their problem before city council instead of seeking a private or perhaps violent solution.