LOS ANGELES (FOX 11 / CNS) - Authorities announced a series of actions Tuesday in a crackdown against property owners and associates of a white supremacist gang allegedly involved with two San Fernando Valley homes.
The homes in Canoga Park and Granada Hills have served as "bases of operations'' for members of the San Fernando Valley Peckerwoods gang, according to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.
Authorities say the homes "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.''
Feuer said he has filed lawsuits that ask the owners of the properties, both of whom live at the single-family homes, to "change the conditions radically at those properties or to have them shut down. And those changes involve, in short, assuring that individuals who are a threat to the neighborhood are not allowed to be on that property and assuring other strategies that have been employed at properties like these not be permitted there.''
"We're fighting to prevent white supremacist gangs from threatening our neighborhoods with their toxic brew of violence, crime and hate,'' Feuer said. "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.
Also named as defendants are Monica Lewis, the owner of the property, as well as her two adult sons, Norman and Robert Lewis.
The property is located within 1,000 feet of John. F. Kennedy High School and Jane Addams High School 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.
Also named as a defendant is his brother, Kenneth Cutshaw, the owner of the property. The property is 500 feet away from the Canoga Park Branch Library.
Erik Cutshaw has been arrested at least three times since 2012 in connection with criminal activity at the property, Feuer's office said.
A third location, 7756 Farralone in Canoga Park, was "informally abated'' by Feuer after Erik Cutshaw was arrested for allegedly planting a pipe bomb under a vehicle parked outside the property, a residence of a rival gang member.
The bomb exploded at that location, which is directly across the street from Columbus Middle School.
"The City Attorney has successfully worked to cease the gang and nuisance activity at the 7756 Farralone property and it is not the subject of any of the lawsuits,'' a statement from Feuer's office said. "All occupants have been evicted, and the property is currently listed for sale.''
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.
Feuer displayed photos at today'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.''
Feuer also recently established an online method through which residents may report properties with gang and/or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods.
Residents may report these properties by calling Feuer's office at (213) 978-8340, or by visiting www.lacityattorney.org. All reports may be made anonymously.
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