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La Puente drug house w/ jail cells torn down

August 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The nightmare at 17446 Renault St. is finally over for residents of the La Puente neighborhood.A bulldozer tore down the drug house condemned and seized years ago by authorities.

"It's about time," said neighbor Johnny Lazarin Jr. "It's been like that for years."

"I think it's a good idea," said another neighbor, Teresa Elias. "It's kind of dangerous. All these kids around, you never know." Over the years, deputies made numerous drug and gang arrests at the home.

In 2008, they condemned the house after finding several building code violations, including a secret basement below the property with what appeared to be jail cells.

The property was an accident waiting to happen in an area with many children.

"I think they're pretty happy," said Joe Ochoa of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "This was a problem house. A lot of narcotic use, a lot of gangs came out and congregated on the property, so I'm pretty sure they feel a lot safer now."

Authorities could never prove the jail cells were used to commit crimes and even after the property had been condemned, the problems continued. There were break-ins and the home continued to be used for drug activity.

"People won't be so scared of leaving their kids alone," Elias said. "That's a creepy house."

The notorious home is finally gone, and just as importantly, so are the people who were using it.


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