A house that police and prosecutors said was part of an open-air drug market in southern Kent County was recently shut down and the residents evicted after a court declared it to be a “criminal nuisance property.”

The investigation and action on the property on Unity Lane near Greenwood was part of a focus by a team of attorneys and investigators at the Department of Justice partnering with state and local law enforcement to target such properties at the direction of Attorney General Matt Denn.

The property at 118 Unity Lane is part of an area near Greenwood known as “The Hole” that has been a location for drug transactions for some time. The dirt road that leads to it has been dug up so that police vehicles or other vehicles must slow down considerably upon entering the road, allowing criminal suspects to flee the area through the woods that surround it. A Delaware State Police investigation in conjunction with DOJ investigators monitored a number of drug transactions in the area.

As a result of a criminal nuisance action filed by DOJ attorneys in Superior Court alleging the property to be the source of criminal activity and a “blight to the surrounding community,” a judge entered a judgment granting Permanent Abatement Relief against the property. The order banned Frank Lovett, Latasha Lovett, Annette Stevens, Lucy Lovett, Charles Lovett and Taquen Owens from the property and declared the property be shut down for a period of two years. Frank Lovett has pending criminal charges for organized crime and racketeering, drug dealing, conspiracy second degree and possession of drug paraphernalia.

DOJ investigators, DSP troopers and members of the Kent County Governor’s Task Force escorted occupants out of 118 Unity Lane and barricaded the house Aug. 4, posting a sign that declared it to be a criminal nuisance property.