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Hermitage Precinct Detectives Board Up and Padlock a Monaco Drive Home as a Public Nuisance; 26 Persons Discovered Inside

2/20/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

It’s a rarity for the MNPD to raid and padlock a private home under Tennessee’s public nuisance law. It’s only happened three times before, until this morning.

Nashvillian Paul F. Newsome’s failure to heed repeated warnings to respect his community and neighborhood by addressing drug activity and violence at his 365 Monaco Drive residence prompted Hermitage Precinct officers to take the extraordinary step of seeking help from the District Attorney’s Office and the courts. Newsome’s Monaco Drive property has now been declared a public nuisance in a temporary injunction and padlocking order issued by Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier. The 26 adults in the home, 11 of whom had outstanding warrants, were removed from the property this morning. Those with the outstanding warrants were arrested.

“Boarding up and padlocking a private residence is not something that we take lightly, but in this situation, it is clearly necessary for the peace and dignity of the neighborhood,” Chief Steve Anderson said.

Hermitage Precinct officers have responded to 109 dispatched calls for service at 365 Monaco Drive between January 1, 2013, and January 1, 2020, for such issues as a homicide, drug offenses, domestic disturbances, disorderly persons, and attempts to serve outstanding warrants, among many others. On July 17, 2019, Matthew Stewart, 22, was killed inside the residence during a trade of drugs for a gun. Stewart and a second man, Christian Mendl, became involved in an argument. Mendl was wounded in the arm. Stewart was fatally shot. The murder of Stewart remains under active investigation.

In 2019, the MNPD executed three search warrants at 365 Monaco Drive, two for narcotics and one related to the Stewart murder. After confirming information that meth was being sold from the residence, undercover detectives executed a search warrant on May 13. Seized were two small plastic bags of meth, a 12-gauge shotgun, a digital scale, and several pipes used to smoke meth. They even found a live monkey that was being kept without the proper licenses or permits (the monkey was not in the house when officers raided it this morning). Newsome was arrested on multiple drug counts and gun possession during the commission of a dangerous felony. The charges are pending in Criminal Court. He was also warned that the nuisance activity had to stop.

During the execution of the July 17 search warrant, detectives recovered several items of drug paraphernalia, to include needles, digital scales, spoons used to cook heroin, 46 pills and a small amount of marijuana. Newsome, 51, was again warned that if the drug crimes and other illegal conduct didn’t stop, the MNPD would be forced to consider seeing a padlock order.

During surveillance of the home the following month, two vehicles leaving the property were stopped for traffic violations. Both vehicles contained drugs, which the drivers said were purchased at 365 Monaco Drive. Another search warrant was executed on August 28, 2019. Seized were numerous items of drug paraphernalia, three guns, and small amounts of heroin and meth. Twelve people in the home on the date were either arrested or issued misdemeanor citations for varying offenses. Newsome was warned once again that this activity must stop. Newsome became agitated and told an MNPD sergeant to do what he had to do (Newsome is being charged federally today on an outstanding unlawful gun possession charge).

Citizens on Monaco Drive describe the residence as a dangerous place that is an eyesore to their neighborhood. There are frequently junk cars and numerous campers/trailers in the back yard. Debris and trash are frequently visible in both the front and back yards. In fact, the back yard has been so full of junk that the property stands in stark negative contrast to the rest of the surrounding residential area. Property values and public safety have suffered as a result.

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The owner of the home, Paul F. Newsome, is being charged federally on an outstanding gun possession charge.

One of the 26 occupants opened a window and tossed out this gun as officers were making entry.

Photo Caption: Twenty-six adults, at least eleven with outstanding warrants, were found inside the home when SWAT officers initiated this morning’s raid.Photo Caption: The owner of the home, Paul F. Newsome, is being charged federally on an outstanding gun possession charge.Photo Caption: One of the 26 occupants opened a window and tossed out this gun as officers were making entry.