Testimony Underway In Motel Caswell Forfeiture Trial
Tewksbury Police officers say they didn't trust Russ Caswell and admit they never met with him to discuss ways to improve safety and security at the motel.
Testimony started this week in U.S. District Court in the forfeiture trial targeting Tewksbury's Motel Caswell.
Federal prosecutors, citing a series of 15 drug arrests and investigations at the motel between 1994 and 2008, have accused motel owner Russ Caswell of failing to take reasonable to action to stop the drug activity and have asked a judge to order that the $1.3 million property be forfeited.
Testifying so far this week have been Tewksbury Police Lt. Dennis Peterson and Lt. Thomas Casey.
Peterson testified that he would notify the desk clerk if an arrest was made on motel property but he admitted he had no evidence that Russ Caswell knew of any illegal activity before an arrest was made, according to an article appearing in the Lowell Sun. Still, Peterson said he didn't trust Caswell, given that the owner lived next door to the motel and must have known what was going on, the article said.
Casey testified he had responded to 10 drug calls at the motel in his 12 years as a Tewksbury cop. He and Peterson bother admitted they had never sat down and talked to Caswell about ways to improve security and safety at the motel, according to the article.
The trial is expected to last the rest of the week.