Tyrone and Patrick Weatherall had a number of bad habits. Besides the obvious one, their fondness for selling crack, the brothers had lavish, attention-getting taste, which is probably ill-advised when you're in the drug-selling business. According to street lore, when the Weatheralls first united some Crips and Bloods to form a new gang, they got themselves a small alligator. People in the neighborhood used to watch them parade it around on a leash and remark, "There go those gator boys."
That is, apparently, how the now-infamous West Side Gator Boyz got their names. Along with the possibly mythical alligator, Tyrone Weatherall eventually admitted to using his drug money to buy "several horses, five houses and a BMW." (He also had a tiger at one point, which authorities claimed attacked one of his horses. That incensed him so much that he ordered one of his lackeys to kill the tiger. Its body was found near I-35 two days after Christmas 2007.)
Charming guys, and probably wonderful neighbors. Back in 2010 both Weatheralls went to prison for a very long time. Patrick is in state prison for a few more months before moving up to federal custody, where he'll spend around 30 years. Tyrone is already in a minimum-security federal facility in East Arkansas. He'll be locked up for 16 more years.
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That left the question about what to do with their many properties. Authorities said at the time that they ran more than 20 drug houses, all of them concentrated in a small area of West Dallas. Habitat for Humanity announced Friday that at the end of February, they acquired four of the Gator Boyz former drug houses, all of them on Life Avenue in the West Dallas community of Los Altos.
According to a press release, Habitat first became interested in acquiring the Life Avenue properties after reading about them on Unfair Park. Habitat is a part of Operation Goodwill, a Department of Justice program that allows the feds to hand over seized real estate to qualified state, federal and non-profit agencies. Habitat reports that they had to pay close to $70,000 in liens on the Life Avenue houses, including delinquent property taxes, mowing liens, office maintenance charges from the Marshals, and $46,000 in child support liens. Another nonprofit was originally awarded the properties, Habitat says, before backing out due to the size of the liens.
Habitat reports that two of the houses will likely need to be torn down and completely rebuilt; they don't mention what will become of the other two. They'll be required to rebuild and sell the homes within one year of acquiring the properties.
On March 26, they're planning a morning celebration in the 2200 block of Life Avenue. If you plan to attend, leave your pet gator at home. Bad form.