AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

When a drug dealer buys up your neighborhood

If you want to know what it's like to live in a neighborhood bought up by a convicted drug dealer, consider a pocket of northwest Atlanta's Grove Park neighborhood.

Federal prosecutors contend that Elgin Jordan bought up much North Eugenia Place, a narrow, wooded street tucked between a police precinct and Bellwood Quarry, the picturesque reservoir made famous by The Walking Dead that the city plans to make into its biggest park.  Prosecutors found that Jordan, relatives and associates live in houses there.

Jordan is a convicted drug dealer, and has been on the radar of federal investigators for more than a decade. His attorney says that he is in the business of buying and fixing up properties, and only went astray when he became addicted to drugs. Federal agents said confidential informants have said he has moved large quantities of cocaine and heroin as far back as the late 1990's. (The use of such informants can be controversial, and his lawyer said they're often unreliable.) Jordan has been arrested for kidnapping, drugs and aggravated assault in the past, but never convicted.

North Eugenia Place could become prime real estate, but for now, it's a patchwork of blighted houses and tidy rehabs. The properties tied to Jordan were a mix of these.

Condo units he owned there were so decrepit that the city tore them down in December.

You can learn more at myajc.com.

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