Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Modern Day Opium Den Closed after Multiple Overdoses

Posted: 07/13/2017

Prosecutors and investigators on the Drug Related Death Task Force have closed a modern day opium den that has been the scene of several overdoses and one overdose fatality.  2818 Dayton Street, Apartment 3, was closed today by order of Judge Scott Green under the state nuisance law. 

According to a petition filed by General Allen, the residence has been the scene of ten calls for service within the past five months.  Most of those calls have been related to drug overdoses.  In one such overdose call, first responders were unable to revive the overdose victim, who ultimately perished. Knoxville Police Department investigators assigned to the Drug Related Death Task Force were able to uncover that one of the occupants of the residence, Cassandra Canupp, provided the victim with the drugs he injected causing the overdose.  An autopsy conducted by the Regional Forensic Center revealed the victim died of fentanyl and cocaine intoxication. In short, the residence operates as a haven for criminal activity, is known in the area as such, and is a continued threat to this community.  The residence needs to be closed before another victim overdoses on the property. 

The Drug Related Death Task Force is a multi-agency investigation and prosecution team that examines overdoses that occur in this jurisdiction as a means to combat the opiate epidemic.  Founded this year under the direction of the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (AHIDTA), the task force consists of prosecutors and coordinators from the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office, investigators from the Knoxville Police Department, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, medical examiners and investigators from the Knox County Regional Forensic Center, and intelligence analysts from AHIDTA.  The goal of the task force is to decrease overdoses by holding drug dealers accountable when their drug trafficking leads to overdose deaths and by gaining intelligence about the opiate epidemic that can be used by member agencies and others to fight this ever-increasing problem.

This nuisance injunction marks the forty-ninth closure by the District Attorney’s Office and Knoxville Police Department in their ongoing collaboration to make neighborhoods safer from the activities that affect the safety and quality of life of residents in this community. 

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or sean.mcdermott@knoxcounty.org.  For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at www.knoxcounty.org/dag and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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