At just before noon Wednesday, the Juneau Police Department and Alaska State Troopers served a warrant on 401 Harris Street, though officers have remained mum on the specifics of the search.
The residence is owned by James and Kathleen Barrett, the former owners of the Bergmann Hotel and two other properties in the immediate area. Law enforcement officials have searched the Harris Street house before, as recently as August 2017.
Barrett was one of at least 11 people — five men and five women besides him — who were being questioned by officers as other officers searched the house. Barrett sat in the shade of the building across the street, shaking his head as officers walked back and forth from the front door of the house to a shed next to the house.
Investigations Sgt. Dominic Branson declined comment at the scene on the purpose of the search, and JPD Public Safety Manager Erann Kalwara said the department was not able to provide any information as of about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Officers were allowing people to go after they spoke with them, and there were no apparent arrests as of 1 p.m.
Neighbors in the area have been concerned about the late-night visitors at the house, the police activity, the noise and what many of them believe to be drug dealing and prostitution going on at the house. Some neighbors watched Wednesday as the police questioned people and searched the house.
Kathleen, James’ mother, filed for a partition earlier this spring, Kathleen’s power of attorney Dave D’amato said. The partition would allow Kathleen to take control of the house, D’amato said, and get it in new hands.
“If we get James’ house back in our control,” D’amato said Wednesday, “our plan will be to fix it up and then to sell it.”
D’amato said the process has moved slowly, as James has not been cooperating. D’amato said there’s a possibility the partition could happen in as few as two months, but it’s likely to take longer.
Kathleen’s company Breffni Place Properties recently sold two houses on Fourth Street to a couple that is renovating the houses, D’amato said. The company is also renovating the Bergmann Hotel, which was shut down in March 2017 due to safety concerns, and they’re hoping to sell the building eventually.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.