July 17, 2019–1:10 p.m.
It was known as the “7-Up” house but police called it an “opium den,” and on Wednesday it was demolished.
Floyd County Police Chief Mark Wallace called the demolition a “shot across the bow” to people who own property that is being used to peddle dangerous drugs.
The dwelling at the corner of East 20th Street and Wheeler Street didn’t even have any utilities hooked up, according to Major Jeff Jones with the Floyd County Police Department.
“Over the last few months we have been working a lot of opioid deaths,” he said. “During the investigation, at least one of them brought us to this house.”
Major Jones said 12 arrests have been made at the house and there have been multiple calls for medical assistance due to drug overdoses.
The demolition of the structure was the result of a partnership between law enforcement, the Floyd County District Attorney’s Office and Federal Authorities.
“As far as opioid use and the deaths they cause, our message to the bad guys would be…If you are doing it, we’re going to be knocking at your door,” Jones said. “It’s our intent to hold dealers responsible for opioid deaths.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office was also on hand Wednesday to announce the unsealing of a federal indictment against Shane Terhune, who is accused of distributing heroin that resulted in a death.
Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson said the victim was Gabriella Leffew.
“She was only 25-years old and she had a 3-year old daughter,” Patterson said. “Now that baby doesn’t have a mom because of what happened due to opioid abuse.”
Authorities said that Terhune has an arrest record and a history of dealing drugs.
In 2017, there were 19 opioid-related deaths in Floyd County. That number jumped to 25 in 2018 and so far this year, there have been 14.
Authorities also wished to thank the Rome Building Inspection Department for their assistance in the demolition of the house Wednesday.