As narcotics detectives shut down suspected drug houses in the Santa Clarita Valley, having carried out three raids in the last three months, neighborhoods are being cleaned up one dirty trash-strewn lot at a time.
Once the drug raids are completed and suspects apprehended by deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, city officials assigned to the Community Preservation department enter the drug house to begin their own version of detoxification cleanup.
Each of the three suspected drug houses raided since March was found to be in violation of the city’s building code and cited for property maintenance infractions for “trash, junk and debris” found in and around the houses.
The suspected drug houses were on Nearbrook Street, Alaminos Street and Maben Avenue.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials and officials with the county’s vector control unit were called in by city officials to investigate neglected “green pools” at two of the suspected drug houses.
One of the suspected drug houses was singled-out for zone violations and another found so dirty that officials with “adult protective services” were called in to rescue an occupant found living there.
Officials with Adult Protective Services investigate all situations involving seniors – 65 and older – and dependent adults defined as 18 to 64 who are physically or mentally impaired – who are reported to be endangered by physical, sexual or financial abuse, isolation, neglect, or self-neglect, according to the county’s website.
The owner of each of suspected drug house was given an order to take corrective action and clean up the property.
“When the sheriff’s deputies have executed their search warrants, they will notify our code enforcement officers,” Danny Rivas, City of Santa Clarita Community Preservation Manager Danny Rivas told The Signal Tuesday.
“Our code enforcement officers assess the house for any building code violation and health and safety code violation,” he said. “Depending on the violation, we generate a list. It may be that the violation warrants our ability to red tag the building.
While each of the homes was dirty and in violation of maintaining city codes none of the homes has been boarded up and red-tagged, Rivas said.
“From a health and safety perspective, any potential hoarding or unsanitary conditions exist, we will reach out to L.A. County Public Health to assist us.”
City officials have called on county public health officers for at least two of the suspected drug homes.
On March 8, narcotics bureau officers raided a home on the 18900 block of Nearbrook Street and arrested more than a dozen people on drug offences including a 65-year-old Canyon Country woman was arrested on suspicion of running a drug house.
Once the raid was over, city code enforcement officers entered the house. They ended up issuing citations to the owner of the house for building code violations, a zoning code violation and property maintenance, Rivas said.
“It was found to have an accumulation of trash, junk and debris – piles of trash,” Rivas said.
They also called in county public health inspectors and an official with Adult Protective Services to investigate suspicions an occupant of the house should not – for health reasons – be living there.
On May 23, a drug raid was carried out on a house on 27000 block of Maben Avenue, where at least five suspected heroin and methamphetamine dealers were arrested. A 57-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of operating a drug house.
Once again, city officials entered the house to assess the damage and begin the cleanup.
“Building code violations were identified,” Rivas said. “And, again property maintenance for junk, trash and debris. That was certainly identified here at this house.”
Public health and vector control officers were called to inspect a neglected swimming pool “for concerns about mosquito larvae,” Rivas said.
The same officers were called May 9 to the house raided on Alaminos Drive which also had a “green” swimming pool, Rivas said.
Narco team members descended on a home on Alaminos Drive, between Calwood Street and Shine Drive where they arrested a woman in her 70’s accused of running a drug house, and a man in his 40’s accused of being under the influence of drugs.
The owner of each of cited home was given a deadline to make the corrective changes.
Code enforcement officers are scheduled to inspect the Nearbrook house today, Wednesday.
The houses on Maben and Alaminos are to be inspected June 29 and June 23 respectively.
“We make sure they are in tip top shape,” Rivas said.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt