LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City Attorney Mike Feuer announced a series of actions Tuesday against the owners of two San Fernando Valley homes known to authorities as the base of operations for white supremacist gang members.
The homes in Canoga Park and Granada Hills “have been the sites of rampant criminal activity, including illegal gun and drug sales, as well as places to make pipe bombs, store stolen property, and recruit and train associates in counterfeit and identity theft” for members of the San Fernando Valley Peckerwoods gang, according to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.
Feuer said he filed lawsuits that ask the owners of the properties, both of whom live at the single-family homes, to change the conditions “radically” at the properties and keep away “individuals who are a threat to the neighborhood”.
“We’re fighting to prevent white supremacist gangs from threatening our neighborhoods with their toxic brew of violence, crime and hate,” Feuer said in a statement. “My office will continue to take every step we can to combat them — and all that they stand for.”
Feuer has filed an abatement lawsuit against Johnny Reed, an alleged member of the gang and “a shot-caller for the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang,” who lives at a single-family residence at 16440 Index St. in Granada Hills. The lawsuit also names Monica Lewis, the owner of the property, as well as her two adult sons, Norman and Robert Lewis, as defendants.
Monica Lewis denied to CBS2’s Randy Paige that her home is connected to white supremacist gangs.
The Granada Hills property is located within 1,000 feet of John. F. Kennedy and Jane Addams high schools and has a reputation in the community and among law enforcement as an alleged hub for white supremacist gang members and distribution of methamphetamine and heroin, Feuer said.
Feuer also filed a lawsuit against Erik Cutshaw, whom he called a known associate of the SFV Peckerwoods gang, and who lives at a single-family residence at 7244 Loma Verde Ave. in Canoga Park, located just 500 feet from the Canoga Park Branch Library. His brother, Kenneth Cutshaw, the owner of the property, was also named as a defendant.
Erik Cutshaw has been arrested at least three times since 2012 in connection with criminal activity at the property, Feuer’s office said.
A woman living at that residence, who declined to speak on-camera, denied that the house is a hug for gang members.
The filed lawsuits involving the 16440 Index property in Granada Hills and the 7244 Loma Verde property in Canoga Park seek an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on each property, removal of any fortifications and structures that inhibit the service of search warrants, and prohibiting the installation of surveillance cameras, among other safety provisions.
The injunctions would also prohibit any members or known associates of the gang in question or any other criminal gang, from accessing the properties at any time.
Another location, 7756 Farralone in Canoga Park, was vacated after Cutshaw was arrested for allegedly planting a pipe bomb under a vehicle parked outside the property.
All of that home’s occupants have been evicted, and the property is currently listed for sale, Feuer said.
Feuer displayed photos at Tuesday’s news conference taken from inside the Farralone property that included swastikas painted on the walls, a Confederate flag, knives and drug paraphernalia.
While none of the arrests at the properties were directly tied to hate crimes, Feuer said, “You can tell that our office believes very strongly, and I believe very strongly, that we need to be especially protective of people, especially now. There is no question that we are living in a nation of heightened tension.”
He added that his office “is going to be vigilant in counteracting every inch, every moment when someone feels jeopardized is a moment that we need to reach out in assuring that they will be protected.”
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