From the Village Voice:
The drug trade subsists through a network-- dealers, buyers, producers, stash houses, wholesalers, transporters, and so on. Eliminate a single branch, and the network will slow for a bit but then soon regenerate, with a new buyer or dealer filling vacuum. For law enforcement officials, the size of the dent in a drug operation depends on the number of branches they can take out.
So, here in New York, authorities are going after the infrastructure: police arrest the dealers, and then the city goes after their landlords.
Yesterday, the city filed two separate civil complaints against the owners of Bronx apartment buildings that held stash houses. If the city gets its way, the owners-- listed only as, respectively, 1881 Walton Realty LLC and 164 Realty LLC-- will lose the properties.
The lawsuits, filed in New York Supreme Court in the Bronx, makes the case that each building should be classified as a public nuisance, which gives the sheriff's office the right to seize the property and put it up for sale. The city cites a section of the Administrative Code that states that a building becomes a public nuisance when three or more drug violations occur there within a year.
That standard, the city notes, was certainly met, thanks to a handful of NYPD buy-bust operations.