A Fresno police investigation into drugs and stolen property revealed 16 people living in squalid and cramped conditions at a rundown home in the city’s Tower District.
Officers served a search warrant Wednesday at the home in the 900 block of North Farris Avenue, about a block and a half south of Olive Avenue, seeking evidence of fencing or trading stolen property for narcotics. When they arrived, police found the people crammed into three bedrooms and the detached garage of the residence, which property records indicate was built in the 1920s. “The house was full of debris, used needles and meth pipes,” Sgt. Chris Desmond wrote in his report. “The house was in horrible condition with no running water or legal electricity.”
Desmond added that electricity was being illegally routed into the house by bypassing the meter, which had been tampered with. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. workers cut off power at the pole in the alley behind the home.
Lt. Joe Gomez said the raid followed several weeks of investigation by a police Violent Crime Impact Team. No usable narcotics were discovered, but two people were arrested – one man, believed to be an East Side Fresno Bulldog gang member, for being a felon in possession of ammunition, and another man for an outstanding warrant for a probation/parole violation.
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After police got everyone out of the house, the city’s code enforcement division was called in to board up the place and post it as being unfit for occupancy based on the poor conditions, which reportedly included mold-covered walls, flooding in the basement and leaking sewage pipes.
Representatives of the city’s code enforcement division could not be reached Thursday to discuss what happened to the residents or their belongings.