Alleged bootlegger agrees to eviction order

Marius Moustakas did not challenge an order to have him evicted from his Porter Creek home for 90 days.

Marius Moustakas did not challenge an order to have him evicted from his Porter Creek home for 90 days.

Moustakas is accused of selling alcohol and prescription drugs from 1312 Centennial, and causing harm to the neighbourhood.

“I’m pleased that in the face of overwhelming evidence the owner of the property decided not to contest any of it, probably because it was so comprehensive,” said Jeff Ford, director of Public Safety and Investigations.

The order was issued on June 27 under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, a controversial piece of legislation which evicts people suspected of illegal activity in their homes, and requires a lower burden of proof than a criminal conviction.

Usually, officials cooperate with landlords to remove unwanted residents, but in this case the process was more complicated because Moustakas is the owner of his house.

This is the first time in the Yukon that a homeowner has been evicted under the law. However, similar cases have occurred in other jurisdictions in Canada.

The list of grievances against Moustakas is long.

The RCMP has recorded over 50 incidents between July 2007 and November 2011 where the police responded to disturbances on Moustakas’ property.

Many of these calls were to remove intoxicated, violent or unwanted visitors.

In one instance, police made an arrest after a woman stabbed another woman in the face.

The Whitehorse Liquor Store began tracking Moustakas’ visits after noting a high volume of purchases.

Between December 14, 2011 and March 14, 2012, liquor store employees gathered receipts from 50 purchases made by Moustakas totaling over $6,000, according to court documents.

SCAN officials conducted surveillance on Moustakas’ property and noted 70 suspicious visits to the house over an 86-hour period.

Visitors came at all hours of the day and stayed only a few minutes. Many appeared to be school-age.

Two undercover officers approached Moustakas in his home and were offered alcohol and morphine for purchase, according to an affidavit.

Neighbours complained of transient people coming and going from the property constantly, some living in dilapidated trailers in the yard, and urinating and defecating on the property.

One neighbour reported multiple thefts from her property and said she bought a guard dog to protect her home, according to court documents.

A manager of the nearby Super A wrote in an affidavit that Moustakas had been banned from the store for a few years but since then, shoplifters had been chased to the Centennial St. property.

Before the ban, he had seen Moustakas in the store buying cigarettes and hot meals for young women.

Under the court order, Moustakas has agreed to cease all illegal activities, and do his best to prevent others from engaging in illegal activities on his property for one year.

Some critics of the SCAN legislation have said that evicting alleged bootleggers and drug dealers only moves them around and doesn’t get rid of the problem.

A tenant of another property that Moustakas owns complained in a court document that he had been evicted because Moustakas planned to live there if he was forced to leave the house on Centennial Street.

This second property, at 1311A Fir St., is only two blocks away and is right across from Jack Hulland Elementary School.

Ford said he hopes that the existing order against Moustakas will have a “deterrent effect” on further criminal activity.

“If there’s evidence that comes forward that there’s habitual illegal activity on other properties that he owns, we’ll bring that to the attention of the Supreme Court.”

There have been no subsequent complaints about the Centennial Street property since the case first went to court in May, Ford said.

Moustakas also faces charges under the Yukon Liquor Act.

He could not be reached for comment.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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