A 20-year-old Des Moines woman facing charges and possible forfeiture of her house after a narcotics raid at the woman's home late last year. Court records say the woman told police she allowed a drug dealer to live and work at her home simply so that she could continue to make the mortgage on her inherited home.
Prosecutors have charged Alison R Mitchell with "unlawful use of a building for drug purposes"—an infrequently used charge—after police discovered one of her housemates, Dustin Speicher, was allegedly dealing drugs out of the home in the 22300 block of 15th Ave S in Des Moines.
While it's not uncommon for police agencies to seize property as the result of a drug raid, court records say the 20-year-old woman in this case told police the only reason she let Speicher live and peddle his wares out of her home is because she wouldn't have otherwise been able to make the mortgage on the house, which she inherited when her father passed away.
Court records say when a police informant purchased marijuana at the home late last year, several of Mitchell and Speicher's roommates were "usually there smoking marijuana, drinking, and playing video games" as Speicher weighed out baggies of pot in the living room. Police say Speicher's roommates must have been aware that he was dealing.
Police raided the home in November and recovered more than three pounds of pot, 18.9 grams of cocaine, 30 amphetamine pills, 30 Aderall pills, and several handguns.
Following the raid, police confronted Mitchell—who apparently lives in the home—who, according to court records, told officers "she knew nartcotics were being sold from her home, as her father left the house to her when he died, and...she had allowed this to occur because the money Speicher makes from selling narcotics helps pay the mortgage as she is unable to pay it on her own."
Because Mitchell admitted to receiving money she knew was coming from the drug trade, court records say, she's being prosecuted as a sort of accessory to Speicher's business. Because her mortgage was paid in part with drug money, police could seize her home, and she could also be facing jail time.
This is unfortunate for this young woman. She (allegedly) made a bad call and rented to a drug dealer in what appears to be a somewhat desperate move to keep her inherited home. What's more, police records say she openly admitted to police that she knew Speicher was selling drugs out of her home. Typically homeowners will plead ignorance.
I can't even imagine how difficult it would've been to try to pay a mortgage when I was 20. Sure, she probably could've found some normal roommates that weren't drug dealers, but when you're young, you do dumb shit and/or think you're not gonna get caught.
Hopefully prosecutors will go easy on this relatively young girl who allegedly made a mistake—or at least got caught allegedly profiting from illegal activity—and let her keep her home.
What do you think? Should this 20-year-old be thrown out of her home and jailed for allegedly profiting off a roommate's drug deals (which, for the record, appear to be primarily pot)?