HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A Hampton family is looking for a new place to live because the government is seizing the home they were renting. That’s because the property owner, listed in court documents as Jayson Mickle, is in federal prison on a drug charge.
Michael Taylor said he has been renting the home on Old Buckroe Road for seven years and planned to stay a few years longer, so his son could finish up high school nearby. He said he and his wife learned via a letter that the government was taking the house.
“Me and my wife just sat in the kitchen and just tears came out of our eyes,” Taylor said.
Last June, Mickle pleaded guilty to selling the synthetic drug, Spice. He was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison. The house the Taylors have been living in is listed in court documents as one of Mickle’s assets.
“This is unreal. And every day is like, it’s not home no more. It don’t feel like home no more because we got to move,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he pays month to month and was told he has six months to find a new place, but he’s struggled with his credit score and can’t afford the costs of moving.
Carissa Cutrell, spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provided the following statement:
As part of criminal judicial proceedings, the court can order illicit criminal proceeds, including real estate assets, to be forfeited to the federal government. This was the case in a Spice prosecution involving defendant Jayson Mickle. In accordance with the court order following Mickle’s conviction, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations notified tenants at these properties on multiple occasions by certified mail that the properties had been forfeited to the federal government. Individuals who wished to remain in the properties had the option to enter into new leases with the property management company. Many properties are on month-to-month leases, and the tenants will be notified once the properties are auctioned off, in accordance with their lease. The effect on the tenants as a result of Mickle’s conviction is no different from what occurs when the owner of a rental property sells that property and a new entity assumes ownership of the property.”