LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the popular Motel 6 hospitality chain, as well as the managers of the chain’s property in Sylmar, seeking an injunction to curb rampant drug sales, gang and prostitution activity occurring at the facility.
The litigation is part of a sustained and concentrated effort by Feuer and law enforcement to target properties that are magnets for gangs, guns, narcotics and other criminal activity.
"Families and other visitors staying at a motel that's part of a respected, national chain should never be subjected to dangerous criminal activity in the next room, at the pool or in the parking lot," said Feuer. "And neighboring residents and businesses shouldn't have to tolerate these alleged conditions in their community. We're demanding the absentee owners of the Motel 6 chain be accountable for making this property a safe, secure neighbor."
The lawsuit names G6 Hospitality Property LLC, the owners of the Motel 6 located at 12775 Encinitas Avenue in Sylmar, as well as the property managers Alma Michel and Carol Torres. A G6 executive is not physically present at the Motel 6 in order to oversee proper management, instead delegating to managers allegedly complicit in allowing prostitution and narcotics activity to flourish.
This Motel 6 is allegedly used as a base from which known gang members and narcotics dealers operate, recruiting pimps and prostitutes, trafficking in stolen goods, distributing narcotics including methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin both on and off site. Stolen vehicles are regularly recovered in the parking lot, and theft of personal items is often reported as occurring on the property as well as in the Motel’s guestrooms. Since 2013, LAPD has made multiple arrests at the property including 10 arrests for prostitution, 22 arrests for narcotics, and 34 additional arrests for criminal activity including battery, burglary and felons in possession of firearms.
The lawsuit seeks physical and managerial improvements to the property including: strict registration requirements and restrictions on cash payments for rental of rooms; video monitoring systems and trained security guards; secure access to the parking lot for guests; posting notices on human trafficking; and implementing policies prohibiting known criminals, including human traffickers, pimps, prostitutes and gang members from accessing the property.
The abatement order also seeks to mandate Motel 6 be ordered to place one of its executive officers or directors at the Motel to manage operations at least five days a week until the nuisance is abated and to train all employees in human trafficking detection and prevention.
Deputy City Attorney Christian Commelin of the City Attorney’s Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program is handling the litigation.
Feuer 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: www.lacityattorney.org. All reports may be made anonymously.