The residents of a property in the Oakwood section of Venice that became what Los Angeles city officials alleged was “a haven for gang-related narcotics dealing” have been permanently barred from the property.
As a result of a nuisance abatement action filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, family members of property owner Rosa Hamm were also ordered to pay more than $140,000 in fines and penalties.
Responding to a lawsuit brought by the Safe Neighborhoods Division of the City Attorney’s Criminal and Special Litigation Branch, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Chalfant declared the single family property at 646 Broadway Ave., Venice, a public nuisance on Thursday, January 5th.
The judge issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Hamm’s adult children — Anthony, Diane, Hadley, and Kimberly Hamm — from occupying or being present at the property.
The litigation alleged that the four adults were members or affiliates of the Venice Shoreline Crips street gang.
Los Angeles Police Department officials told the City Attorney’s Office that 16 people, including members of the Hamm family, were arrested for narcotics-related offenses at the property between May 2003 and November 2004.
LAPD officers seized more than 17 grams of rock cocaine, more than 593 grams of marijuana, eight crack pipes, and a loaded firearm at the property.
Police alleged that “narcotics activity was operating at such a high level” that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency became involved.
The City Attorney’s Office began a nuisance lawsuit against the Hamms in March last year. The LAPD reports that there has been no narcotics activity at the property since then.
Police alleged that Anthony, Diane, and Kimberly Hamm were the family members that were most active in dealing drugs. They no longer live at the property.
City attorneys allege that homes owned or occupied by members of the Venice Shoreline Crips have become centers for local drug trade in Oakwood.
Attorneys alleged that the homes serve as large storage depots for quantities of narcotics and as a base from which narcotics are packaged for street sales. The Hamm property was also allegedly used as a gathering place for drug users.
Action against the Hamms is the second recent nuisance abatement litigated by deputy city attorney Charles Sewell against homeowners or residents with ties to the Venice Shoreline gang.
Sewell is the Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program’s Oakwood neighborhood prosecutor.
Nuisance abatement is part of a larger effort by the City Attorney’s Office to target gang-controlled drug trafficking in the Oakwood area. LAPD officers said drug trade in Oakwood accounts for half of all Pacific Division narcotics arrests.