LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has filed a narcotics and gang-related nuisance abatement lawsuit against the owner of a South Los Angeles apartment complex. The buildings allegedly have become a heavily-fortified gang stronghold for crack cocaine production and sales.
“It’s completely unacceptable that just down the street from a middle school, this allegedly gang-controlled apartment complex is a major source of crime and drugs in this neighborhood,“ said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Just as we have done at dozens of other locations before, we target this property to ensure it’s a safe place to live and no longer poses a threat to the community.”
The City Attorney’s lawsuit names Pedro Castillo and Teresa Salazar, the owners of an eight-unit apartment complex located at 1847-1849 1/2 Florence Avenue. The apartment is located less than 400 feet from Horace Mann Middle School and is within a half mile of an elementary school.
The property is allegedly controlled by factions of the Eight Tray Gangster Crips and Neighborhood Crips gangs, rivals who have negotiated a truce in order to collaborate on manufacturing and selling crack cocaine from units in the property. Gang members have allegedly installed counter-surveillance cameras, reinforced gates and doors on the property with heavy gauge metal panels and plates welded into them in order to secure their drug operations from law enforcement. The Los Angeles Fire Department had to cut off fortified doors at one point with a gas-powered saw.
In the past year, there have been four LAPD controlled narcotics purchases at the property, two search warrants executed, as well as multiple arrests of gang members resulting from drug trafficking. LAPD officers have also responded to the property numerous times for stabbings and a shooting as well as a June 2015 incident of human trafficking allegedly tied to the property.
The City Attorney’s lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring remedial improvements to the property as well as the termination of the tenancies of all residents known to be involved in nuisance activity. The action also seeks a restraining order requiring any members or associates of Eight Tray or Neighborhood Crips criminal street gangs to stay at least 1,000 feet from the property.
Since July, 2013, City Attorney Feuer’s Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit has filed 39 actions similar to this one and obtained 56 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of five gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $250,000 in costs and fees.
Feuer also recently established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report properties with gang and/or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. He's asking residents to report these properties by calling his office at (213) 978-8340 or visiting the City Attorney’s website. All reports may be made anonymously.