Advice please: discovered drug trafficking - police giving us silence - lawyers unsure what to do


#1

Be careful what you wish for. After several posts extolling “bleeding edge” tech - my park’s new battery powered security cameras that don’t need wifi (and thus can be placed in odd-ball places) seem to have uncovered convincing evidence of active drug trafficking. Our staff and lawyers are convinced that we have stumbled on a trafficking ring. Yes we have reportred to the police - and given them everything (vehicle logs, names, detailed spreadsheets with times and sightings of what appear to be mules on foot and bicycle in the night). But the cops are giving us what amounts to radio silence.

We have one well known dealer under eviction (he slipped up and stupidly didn’t pay rent one month when he got angry at us) - but now, security cameras placed to stop people from illegal dumping and to quietly follow up on resident reports of strange pedestrians spotted at night - have in fact uncovered what looks like an organized distribution and transport ring.

We have two “unwanted” long term visitors to the park (not on leases) - each appears to be running one of these operations (not sure if they’re connected or not - one is a vehicle-based operation, the other a bicicycle/foot operation in a different part of the park).

I want to evict the home owners - or at least give them 5 day notices to get rid of the visitors. But the most experience I have with drug traffickers is watching movies. My lawyers are at a loss of what to do. It isn’t practical to hire 24/7 human protection for months on end. If we are stepping on someone’s income stream then I’m afraid of physical retaliation. Is that a stupid fear?

Is this where you go to the FBI and/or DEA?


#2

One response of course is - do nothing. The traffickers appear to be attempting to be discreet. Until cameras were placed even I did not notice the vehicle traffic patterns to a particular house. The bicyclists operate quietly and mostly at night. They are not noisy. They pay rent. There is no drug use in the streets, physical altercations, loud music, etc. It’s really low key. They’re clearly trying to do business undetected. Without a spreadsheet tracking vehicle patterns I wouldn’t have figured out that the same cars are coming over and over to one trailer, for example. Without my “nosy” instinct that led me to ask my assistant to build a spreadsheet of every arrest item of every resident before we took over - I wouldn’t know who has criminal records and to be more “on the lookout” for activity from them.

Interestingly though - both situations involve residents who do NOT have any felonies but who appear to let wayward adult children crash with them for what should be a short visit and turned into longer term.

I’ve made it worse by turning a blind eye to some other residents who brought in guests that caused no problems. Now I’ll have to get rid of them all at once. It’s gonna be tough - we’ve had 100% of non-payer evictions (4 so far) try to fight us in court (they lost).


#3

the last turnaround park we bought we threw a lot of drug dealers out and what we noticed is that they hate attention. Motion lights, nosy neighbors, and them knowing that you are keeping track of everything that goes on. We had a tenant we threw out that moved into a neighboring property and since moving there started cooking meth. We did the same thing with them at the new property. They have been arrested several times this month for meth labs and dealing. Since their last release they have been very quiet and from the looks one of them has moved out and went somewhere else.


#4

Okay - so what you’re saying is that in your experience the dealers do not usually decide to “go to war” with landlords - they move on. Okay - more lights, more cameras.

I wonder if there’s so much trafficking happening in the world that local PD departments are overwhelmed and simply ignore a lot of it.


#5

what i gather from our local law enforcement is that they are so busy dealing with violent felons if somebody is growing marijuana or using it those people are never bothered unless they are causing a lot of trouble. The last thing most of these people want is to pick a fight with a landlord and get a lot of police attention.


#6

That’s easy, follow Frank’s advice. We had a similar, but much bigger problem. Hire off duty cops to sit at the entrance at random times, but regularly for the first few weeks. Have them run plates and pull over any non residents to ask why they’re there.

It scares the customers, and dealers off, and the law abiding residents love it.

It does not cost that much. Even after 1 1/2 years, we still randomly hire an off duty cop to sit at the entrance, it makes the cops your friends for sure, trust me.


#7

Did you just call up your local police department? I tried once and didn’t get far - but I wasn’t very persistent. It’s worth a shot again. Does it need to be PD from the same town or can a neighboring town’s off-duties also do pullovers?


#8

Better off doing local for several reasons. It shouldn’t be that hard to find some that want extra work, especially now before the holidays. Just ask a local cop who to call, I’m sure they can steer you.


#9

I have in the past made it obvious to suspected drug dealers that I am watching them. I openly watch everyone coming and going and write down licence plate numbers, take pictures of individuals etc. They generally will approach me and ask what I am doing. I inform them I am collecting evidence to turn over to the police. They usually move out in short order.