Busted but not broken; alleged heroin house appears undaunted

John Boel said it was hard to get answers the conventional way about what was going on at the...
John Boel said it was hard to get answers the conventional way about what was going on at the corner of Peachtree and Sale. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Aug. 27, 2019 at 6:50 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – It was hard to get answers the conventional way about what was going on at the corner of Peachtree and Sale.

“Are they selling drugs right there?” I asked a man coming out of 1120 Sale Avenue.

“How about this, eat my d**k,” he responded.

But if you back off and secretly watch what’s going on like I did, you might be surprised, especially after 1120 Sale has been busted twice in recent months on charges including heroin trafficking, heroin possession, drug paraphernalia, and a convicted felon with a gun.

No matter when I watched, morning, noon, or night, every few minutes I recorded men and women going to the back door, spending a couple minutes inside and coming back out. As many as 15 per hour, passing each other coming and going. Some of them emerged handling plastic wrapped packages and stuffing them in their pockets as they walked away. Many were discreetly dropped off down the street and then picked up by the waiting cars a few minutes later. Often they were moving fast.

What were they buying? I watched two people go in, come out a couple minutes later, then I followed them as they rode their bikes straight over to Taylor and Bicknell, the site of the nearest mobile needle exchange, where they loaded up with taxpayer-furnished syringes.

The house across the street from 1120 Sale was almost as busy. And when one of them was closed or didn’t have what they came for, the customers went to the other home. Police told me there is no question that when scores of people come and go from a house after spending couple of minutes inside, they are buying drugs.

It never let up. On Aug. 12, when a man was shot in the face in a drive-by half a block away on Longfield Avenue, the police chopper circling above and patrol cars driving by looking for the suspects, I noticed business remained brisk at both of the homes I was watching.

On July 23, when what appeared to be a detective and a patrol car showed up at 1120 Sale, the customers scattered. But it all fired back up again 20 minutes after police left.

LMPD refused our request to do an interview about this report. Neighbors were too afraid to do interviews. So I tried to talk to the people coming out of the two houses.

“I’ve been watching the last couple of weeks and it looks like that house there is selling drugs, and people are coming here for drugs as well,” I asked one of the men who closed up a garage and headed down the street when they saw me.

“Nobody’s coming here,” he said.

“You’re not selling drugs right here?” I asked.

“No, nobody’s doing anything,” he said.

“I ain’t got nothing to say to you,” another man said as he emerged from 1120 Sale.

“Are you guys selling drugs out of that house right there?” I asked.

“Man, I don’t live there and I ain’t got nothing to say to you, so quit harassing me,” he said.

“There’s no answers,” one of the men said. “There’s nothing to talk about. Why am I getting bombarded here?”

“Why did you guys close up the garage and take off when we came up?” I asked.

“I’m getting ready to leave,” he said.

“So nobody on this block is selling drugs?” I said.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t have nothing to do with anything.”

And there was no break in the action even on Aug. 6, during National Night Out Against Crime. While citizens bonded with police at the park a few blocks away to try to make their neighborhood safer, their neighborhood was filled with people steadily coming and going from the two homes at the corner of Sale and Peachtree.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.