LOS ANGELES - City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has successfully secured the closure of a gang-controlled south Los Angeles duplex after the property owners’ continued failure to stop ongoing heroin traffic.
"For too long, this property has been the epicenter of drugs and criminal activity in this community,” said Feuer. “Shutting it down demonstrates we'll take decisive action to protect health and safety in our neighborhoods.”
The nuisance abatement lawsuit was filed in August 2015 against Felipe Lopez, the owner of a duplex located at 736 E. 24th Street, and a resident, Defendant Fernando Chavez, a Primera Flats gang member, for permitting and facilitating rampant narcotics sales. It was alleged that heroin buyers came to the Property from all over the City for what they said was the “best heroin” in Los Angeles. LAPD officers investigating the narcotics activity in the area frequently observed routine narcotics sales at the property. Allegedly with the open and notorious drug sales, drug dealers were allowed to remain on the Property by the Property’s owner and its occupants. Narcotics sellers, including Primera Flats gang members, allegedly had systems in place to warn buyers of police presence in the area.
Since July 2013, LAPD officers have made 39 arrests directly tied to the property for various narcotics related violations, including the sale of heroin. LAPD officers have also served three search warrants at the property resulting in the recovery of heroin, methamphetamine, three loaded firearms as well as ammunition.
Judge Stephanie M. Bowick granted the motion for summary judgment and granted closure of the Property for one year as part of the City Attorney’s request. The property must be vacated within 60 days of posting of the ruling. A hearing is scheduled for January 21, 2016 to address a proposed injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on the property, physical and managerial improvements to the property including: improved lighting; secure gating and fencing, improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures.
Deputy City Attorney Maria Aguillon, of the City Attorney’s Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program, is prosecuting the case.