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Lawsuits to be filed against Venice and Del Rey property owners

The residences have allegedly served as centers for drug sales and other criminal activity for years. (Thinkstock)
The residences have allegedly served as centers for drug sales and other criminal activity for years. (Thinkstock)

Lawsuits will be filed today against two properties and their owners in Venice and in the Del Rey neighborhood amid a crackdown by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on residences that for years have allegedly served as centers for drug sales and other criminal activity.

Feuer’s office said the properties’ addresses and the names of their owners would be disclosed at a news conference this morning. The Los Angeles Police Department will be represented.

The city attorney said in a statement that he plans nuisance abatement lawsuits “as part of a sustained, coordinated effort to rid Los Angeles of these nuisances.”

In February, Feuer filed suit against owners of so-called nuisance houses in Hollywood and South Los Angeles.

He cited the owner of a house at 1233 W. 53nd St., where, according to the city’s lawsuit, the Crips street gang has held sway for more than a decade and a “hybrid PCP swap meet and flop house” was being operated.

Police allege more than nine criminal cases involving PCP and weapons possession are pending from the 53rd St. home, which authorities say is owned by Mattie J. Sampson. The injunction asks that her son, described as a known gang member named Bobby J. Sampson, and others be prevented from setting foot on the property, Feuer said.

City attorneys also sued David Lester Baxter, who owns two adjacent properties in Hollywood, at 5655 and 5657 Lexington Avenue, where the city alleges methamphetamine is sold and stored.

The city is seeking injunctions regarding the Hollywood homes, to prevent the owners and known associates from illegally selling, making or storing controlled substances. Current tenants would need to move out and stay at least 1,000 feet away as part of the proposed restrictions.

The Hollywood properties have been an “epicenter of criminal activity” over the past decade, city attorneys said. Prostitutes, transients, parolees and people on probation frequent the homes, where 15 arrests have been made.

Feuer said a “single property can endanger an entire neighborhood” and property owners are responsible for keeping them from becoming crime dens.

“If they fail to fulfill that obligation — ignoring criminal activity, for example, that jeopardizes neighborhood safety — my office will hold them accountable,” he said.

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