Police raid, padlock 'dangerous' Hermitage home; 26 people, including infant, found inside

Posted at 9:16 AM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 20:37:04-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Police took more than a dozen people into custody following a raid at a home in Hermitage.

The raid was conducted Thursday morning at 365 Monaco Drive. Metro police tweeted “enough is enough,” adding that there had been at least one homicide and multiple drug issues at the home.

Police said 26 people were inside the home at the time of the raid. Eleven of them had warrants out for their arrest.

Officers arrested the homeowner, 51-year-old Paul F. Newsome. Police said he was "warned" multiple times to clean up the place. He will be charged federally on an outstanding unlawful gun possession charge.

Officers described “dangerous” living conditions inside the residence. They found an infant in what was described as the “worst room.” The baby was placed into the care of a family member and is said to be in good health.

The house was boarded up and padlocked as a public nuisance. Police say they’ve received more than 100 calls about the home since 2013.

Neighbors on Monaco Drive describe the house as an eyesore and a dangerous place. There are frequently junk cars and numerous campers/trailers in the back yard.

Police say neighbors reported debris and trash often 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 contrast to the rest of the surrounding residential area, causing property values and public safety to suffer.

Police officials seized four grams of heroin, ten pills, 20 grams of marijuana, one gram of meth, drug paraphernalia, digital scales, a live military smoke grenade, and seven guns from the house.

Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said this is only the fourth time that a private residence has been padlocked. An undercover police officer said this is the worst home he’s seen in his 10-year career.

Officers have responded to 109 calls for service at the home between January 2013, and January 2020 for issues including homicide, drug offenses, domestic disturbances, disorderly persons, and attempts to serve outstanding warrants, among many others.

On July 17, 2019, 22-year-old Matthew Stewart was killed in the home during a drug deal in which he Christian Mendl were trading drugs for a gun. The murder remains under active investigation.

In 2019, the police executed three search warrants - two for narcotics and one related to the Stewart murder. As a result, Newsome was arrested on multiple drug and gun charges. Officers also seized 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). Officials warned Newsome that the activity had to stop.

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

Officers continued to watch the home for the next month. They made more drug seizures during traffic stops of people coming from the home and after another search of the home on August 28, twelve people were either arrested or issued misdemeanor citations for varying offenses.

Newsome was again warned that the activity had to stop. That's when police say he grew agitated and told a MNPD sergeant to do what he had to do.