CITY ATTORNEY FEUER ESCALATES
CRACKDOWN ON GANG AND DRUG DENS THROUGHOUT LA
Five Lawsuits Seek to Curb Rampant Criminal Activity at Properties In the San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles
Intensifying his ongoing effort to rid the city of gang and crime infested properties, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has filed five lawsuits against the owners of six properties across the city. The properties include single family homes, an apartment building and two motels and have been the sites of rampant criminal activity including drug sales and gun possession.
“For too long, residents of these communities across our city have been plagued by the rampant criminal activity we allege at these properties,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “Enough is enough. My office will continue to fight to rid our neighborhoods of illegal guns, drugs and gang conduct that devastate communities.”
Recent narcotics and nuisance abatement filings include:
- A single family dwelling located at 6548 Cleon Avenue in North Hollywood allegedly continues to be the site for heroin and methamphetamine sales on a regular and continuous basis. In the past year, LAPD has made 18 narcotics related arrests at the property. The property is located within a half mile of Fair Avenue Elementary School and the Victory-Vineland Recreation Center. Emile Gosline, the property owner, was named in the lawsuit.
- Three separate bungalows located at 709-711 ½ W. 54th Street in Vermont Square in South Los Angeles are allegedly used as hangouts for two allied criminal street gangs: 51 Nothing But Trouble Gangster Crips and 52 Hoover Gangster Crips. Gang members and associates allegedly use the property to store firearms, use narcotics and tag gang graffiti. In the past two years, there have been several arrests at the property and at least four firearms have been recovered. The bungalows are located within a half mile of two parks, one church and six schools (52nd Street Elementary School, Nativity School, Dantzler Middle School, Summit Prep Charter, Hawkins High School, and Budlong Elementary School). Emaline Harris, as trustee of the Eddie & Emaline Harris Revocable Living Trust Dated October 12, 2007, the property owner, was named in the lawsuit.
- A single family dwelling located at 333 W. 58th Street is allegedly used to sell crystal methamphetamine, including four controlled buys by undercover officers in 2017. The property has also been the location of at least two shootings as well as the arrest of an individual illegally possessing a loaded semi-automatic handgun. The property is located less than 2,000 feet from a public park and three schools (Estrella Elementary School, Aspire/Tate Elementary School, and 61st Street Elementary School). Putative property owner Tyreca Deshon Angrum and alleged narcotics dealers Frank Hall and Tyson Hall were each named in the lawsuit.
- A single family dwelling located at 900 East 24th Street is allegedly used by relatives of the elderly property owner for the sale of narcotics including crack cocaine and heroin. The property has also allegedly been the location for several threats, batteries, and assaults, including an assault with a deadly weapon. The property is located one block away from the Second Baptist Church, a historic site and cultural landmark in South Los Angeles. The property owner Julia Griffith and Aaron Novel, a resident at the property and alleged drug dealer are named in the lawsuit.
- The 4 Star Motel, an 18-unit property located at 7400 S. Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles and the Showtime Motel, a 12-unit property, located at 11122 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City both allegedly serve as a magnet for criminal activity including individuals who sell and use narcotics, batteries, and sexual assaults. The properties also allegedly serve as a haven for pimps and rampant prostitution activity. Four Star is located within a half mile of four elementary schools (75th Street Elementary, Miller Elementary, 68th Street Elementary, and St. Raphael Elementary), one middle school (Bethune Middle School) and two churches. Showtime is located within a half mile of Rio Vista Elementary, a Senior Living Community and Weddington Park Community Center. The owners and operators of the motels are Sureshchandra N. Patel and Bhavnaben S. Patel who own the properties at which the Motels are located. Four Star Motel Corporation, Bhavna Suresh LA, LLC, Suresh Bhavna SC, LLC, and Showtime Motel Corporation are also named as defendants.
The lawsuits seek injunctions against each of the property owners prohibiting criminal activity (and, where relevant, gang activity) at the locations, physical and managerial improvements to the properties, where applicable, including: an internet-connected video monitoring system covering all public areas at the property; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures including earlier closure times for businesses; and armed, licensed security guards. If those measures aren’t successful, closure of the properties may be sought.
City Attorney Feuer has expanded his Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit, which, since July, 2013, has filed 52 abatement actions and obtained 58 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of nine gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $500,000 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: www.lacityattorney.org. All reports may be made anonymously.