UPDATE: Five suspected heroin dealers taken off streets

Detective Bill Velek secures a man at the scene of a drug raid in Canyon Country on May 23, 2017. (Austin Dave/The Signal)

At least five suspected heroin and methamphetamine dealers were taken off Santa Clarita’s streets Tuesday morning during an operation to knock out illegal narcotics.

 Shortly after 6 a.m., about ten Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies and a K-9 unit executed a search warrant at a home on the 27000 block of Maben Avenue.

 The operation resulted in at least five suspects taken into custody at the scene, including four people arrested for possession and illegal sales of narcotics – namely heroin and methamphetamine, according to Detective Vanderlaan of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

 One person was arrested for operating a drug house.

“We’re just out there doing the best job we can,” Vanderlaan said. The detective attributes the success of the operation to a combination of old fashioned police work and a significant amount of cooperation with the community.

 Neighbors at the scene, who requested to not be identified, said the home raided early Tuesday morning had plagued the neighborhood for months.

 Sheriff’s officials hoped to turn the situation around and put a dent in local underground drug operations.

 “With the resources we have, we’re just trying to make a difference,” Vanderlaan said. “Especially with these overdoses.”

A man is detained at the scene of a drug raid on Maben Avenue in Canyon Country on May 23, 2017. (Austin Dave/The Signal)
The raid comes on the heels of two more Santa Clarita Valley residents who died from  apparent overdoses over the weekend, according to Cary Quashen, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Executive Director of Behavioral Health and Director of Action Family Counseling.

It was not confirmed if either of the deaths involved heroin.

House code violations

City officials were called to inspect the Maben  house after deputies finished with their raid.

“There were no violations that would limit occupancy,” city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman Carrie Lujan said about the inspection.

“There were, however, several other building code violations,” she said. “There was substandard property maintenance.”

Drug detectives found what looked like a neglected swimming pool filled with green water believed to be algae buildup.

City officials opened a file on the house and plan to notify the building’s owner about making improvements.

“We’re opening a code enforcement file, and notifying the owner about the violations.” Lujan said.

Drug houses

Tuesday’s arrest of a person accused of running a drug house, was the third such arrest in the last three months.

Deputies arrested two women since March for allegedly running a drug house.

Judith Ward, 65, was arrested on suspicion in March of maintaining a place to sell controlled substances, a felony, after deputies raided a house on Nearbrook Street.  She is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on June 21.

Two weeks ago, Carolyn Schlender, 74, of Saugus, was arrested on suspicion of running a drug house after Narco team members descended on a home on Alaminos Drive.

Schlender was “cited and released out in field,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal. 

She is expected to appear in court.


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