Published on August 28th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
South Dallas body shop owner arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs
Dallas officials want to seize the South Dallas body shop of a 65-year-old convicted drug dealer that they say has sold undercover officers drugs 13 times since April of last year.
Friday afternoon Dallas police arrested Bertran Johnson on suspicion of dealing drugs at his shop in the 2700 block of Clarence Street near Fair Park. He has been charged with five counts of manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance near a drug free zone and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.
At the same time, Dallas city attorneys filed a lawsuit against Johnson to seize the location from which he’s allegedly been dealing for years – a lot just a few feet from the front door of the Dallas Independent School District’s new Billy Earl Dade Middle School. County records show Johnson owns the property, which is valued at $30,000.
According to the petition and request for a temporary and permanent injunction filed in Dallas County court, one of the 13 drug buys occurred Friday.
City attorneys say there was another earlier this week. And during that one, says the suit, “undercover officers reported having had to literally wait in line to purchase illegal drugs from Defendant Johnson at the Property.”
Dallas County criminal records show Johnson has been charged with drug possession and dealing 12 times since 1989, and in many of those cases he pleaded guilty. The suit documents his March 4, 2012, arrest for possession of marijuana, diazepam, oxycodone, codeine, tramadol, methadone and other drugs. He was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon – two, actually, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle. Officials say they also found 26 credit cards, 11 Social Security cards, 32 Texas Department of Public Safety-issued identification cards and other forms of ID that didn’t belong to Johnson.
The suit, filed by city attorney Melissa Miles, says that from November 2009 until today, there have been at least 33 drug-related arrests made at that address, ranging from delivery of a controlled substance/dangerous drug to possession with intent to deliver. Also, says the suit, since November ’09 Dallas police officers have documents “at least two aggravated assaults, six found drug incidents [and] two drug manifestation citations” at that location, which officials say is a paint and body shop in name only.
Johnson is currently booked at the Dallas County jail, where he will be served with the suit. He is being held in lieu of $600,000 bond.
We’re awaiting comment from the the City Attorney’s Office, but the city is trying to prove the property is a “common nuisance” based on the criminal activity taking place across the street from a school that opens for the first time Monday morning. If a judge grants the request for the permanent injunction, the city will close the property for a year, per the suit, and cut off utilities to the property. The city will also ask the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office to seize the property.
Source: crimeblog.dallasnews.com “South Dallas body shop owner arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs,” August 28, 2013.