Editor’s Note: Signal Staff Reporter Austin Dave, gathered with a contingent of law enforcement on Wednesday as they prepared to conduct a drug raid on a Canyon Country townhome.
Safeguarding the element of surprise, four burly men and a fierce drug-sensing canine formed a closed circle in the middle of Jakes Way, just below a grungy freeway overpass.
The foursome, all in boots and plain clothes, gathered to discuss a sensitive operation planned to take place in an area of Canyon Country a few blocks away.
Over the course of a half hour, several vehicles pulled into the same public street and with that, more men, sturdy in stature, joined.
The operation, small in measure, was the formation of a sheriff’s task force engaged in a longtime war on drugs. Unknown to all, including leader Sgt. Jeff Siroonian, the campaign would soon yield two arrests and a haul of several illegal and potentially dangerous narcotics.
At 11:41 a.m., the crew suited up in Kevlar vests and departed their staging site. The convoy of mismatched unmarked vehicles headed eastward down the street.
A procession of law enforcement personnel charged through the doors of an electric gate and headed past a cluster of townhomes. Bystanders paused from their activities and turned their attention to the boisterous parade of fast moving vans and SUVs.
Halting abruptly near the 27500 block of Marta Lane, about eight plainclothes and uniformed deputies in riot gear departed the motorcade.
Evading the slightest punctuation of silence, the group charged toward the north side of a building. Two men motioned with hand signals and the task force embarked up a flight of stairs and out of sight.
With a deep-rooted shout, the presence of eight became evident.
“Sheriff’s department, search warrant. Open the door!”
Unlike many Hollywood action flicks, the parameters regarding the execution of a search warrant force law enforcement to announce their intent before forcing entry.
At this point the element of surprise was lost, but somewhat still effective.
One man shielded in riot gear pulled a battering ram-like object back and slammed it into the white colored door.
The door frame collapsed under the force of the rod and cleared a path for the team.
Within a minute, the task force advanced to a locked bedroom door.
“We announced our presence and our purpose and reason for being there,” Siroonian said, recounting the operation.
Though the force continued on as planned, the sergeant had an unfortunate inkling as to why the door was locked.
“It’s not uncommon for drug dealers to run to the toilet and flush,” he said.
“That’s exactly what we had in this scenario.”
Eventually the bedroom door was breached and, much to the team’s dismay, a woman was found flushing bags of methamphetamine down a bathroom toilet.
But there was a silver lining.
“She didn’t get it all,” Siroonian said, a slight grin stretching across his face.
“We were able to get a pound of meth out of the toilet.”
Stepping aside from the interview the sergeant revealed a shattered toilet laying in the alleyway.
After a short plumbing and history lesson, it was determined there were some residual drugs stuck in the loo.
“Sometimes it gets caught in the choke in the toilet,” Siroonian said.
Narcotic officers took in a scent dog to run through the location, alerting authorities of the presence of additional narcotics.
By 1 p.m., a man and a woman were arrested for trafficking narcotics and bagged quantities of methamphetamines, heroin and marijuana were taken off the streets.
And with that, a month-long investigation concluded.
Discovery of a stolen motorcycle added some weight to the haul and a feather in the cap of the crime fighters.
“It comes down to what’s going on in a neighborhood,” Siroonian said.
“Parents are trying to raise their children and there’s activity they’re intimidated by.”
The sheriff’s sergeant praised steps taken by the community to alert them to the nefarious activities on Marta Lane.
“There were several complaints in regard to this particular townhome,” Siroonian said, sealing the lid on a container of crystal methamphetamine.
“I think the problem is solved – at least for the time being.”