Gang haven declared ‘unfit for habitation’

Police arrested several suspects Friday at 7216 Eigleberry St.

City officials who called for a local

haven

for drugs and gang activity to be shut down appear to be getting
their wish. The home, located at 7216 Eigleberry St., was posted
as

unfit for habitation

based on an inspection conducted Tuesday by code enforcement
officers and the Gilroy Police Department, according to City
Administrator Thomas Haglund.
City officials who wanted a local “haven” for drugs and gang activity to be shut down appear to be getting their wish.

The residence, located at 7216 Eigleberry St., was posted as “unfit for habitation” based on an inspection conducted Tuesday by code enforcement officers and the Gilroy Police Department, according to City Administrator Thomas Haglund.

Pablo Chavez, 19, of Gilroy, and three juveniles were arrested at the home Friday night for possession of narcotics and probation violations, according to the Gilroy Police Department. The GPD did not release the names of the three other suspects because they are minors.

The building has been subject to numerous narcotics searches over the past few years.

In an e-mail to the Gilroy City Council on Tuesday, Haglund wrote that occupants were given 24 hours to vacate and the home would be inspected further today.

The home’s owner “will be cited pursuant to the city code enforcement process and be required to take care of all deficiencies associated with the home’s uninhabitable condition,” Haglund wrote.

The city will hold the property owner and renters accountable for all potential civil and criminal violations, GPD Sgt. Chad Gallacinao said.

Haglund wrote the city will take all necessary legal actions if needed.

Mayor Al Pinheiro and City Councilman Bob Dillon this week called for the residence to be declared a public nuisance.

Dillon said he was happy regarding how quickly the city took action following the most recent arrests.

“Amazing speed for government,” Dillon said. “It’s a happy resolution.”

Dillon said the city would need to prevent other buildings from deteriorating like the Eigleberry Street house.

“We’ll keep an eye on them,” he said. “We may want to become a little more proactive in the future.”

Councilman Peter Leroe-Muñoz agreed the city needed to address drug and gang issues “before they become problems.”

“It really does bring home the issue of public safety,” he said.

Police arrested several suspected Norteño gang members at the home in October 2010. During that search, two children – a newborn and a 10-month-old – were taken from the residence and put into protective custody. Police found methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana in the home.

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