ALERT's Safer Communities and Neighbourhood (SCAN) shut down a notorious drug house on Neal Close on Monday. RCMP have responded to 60 complaints at the house over two years.

Drug house shut down

Normandeau residents are breathing a sign of relief after a known drug house was shut down on Monday. The house at 64 Neal Close had been the bane of the neighbourhood for at least four years.

Normandeau residents are breathing a sign of relief after a known drug house was shut down on Monday.

The house at 64 Neal Close had been the bane of the neighbourhood for at least four years.

Neighbours said they lived in fear as they watched the suspicious comings and goings at all hours of the day and night.

“It was just anything and everything constantly,” said Kaysha Gelinas, who lived across the close from the house. “It just didn’t stop. I have a three-year-old daughter and she can’t play out in the front yard.”

Others said there were constant disputes, loud music, scantily clad women and heavy traffic at the property. One man said his basement windows were shot out with a BB gun twice.

“We raised kids here,” said Rae Ing. “We’ve been here for 40 years. We have never had neighbours like that.”

Gelinas said the residents on the close finally got fed up and came together to put an end to the nightmare.

Members of ALERT’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) team swooped in and shut down the house on Monday. The residents were evicted and the windows and doors were boarded up and the locks changed.

SCAN began its investigation in September 2015 after hearing from community members. The warning letters were issued to the owners a couple months later.

A man and his two sons owned the property.

Insp. Mike Letourneau said police had responded to 60 complaints of everything from stolen vehicles, noise disturbances to drug activity over two years.

“Only one of the sons, that we were aware of, was occupying the property,” said Letourneau. “But he clearly lost control of it. As I said, lots of people coming and flopping and staying overnight at this property.”

The closure was obtained through a court order known as a Community Safety Order. The owner and all tenants are barred from entering the property during a 90-day period.

The owner may go back to the house after 90 days but drug activity must cease, said Letourneau.

“In the event drug activity starts up again and we get calls from the community, SCAN will be back on this,” said Letourneau. “The RCMP will be collaborating with us and we will take it again.”

Letourneau said there are other investigations under way of suspected drug houses in Central Alberta.

Last December SCAN shut down a “notorious” drug house at 52 Heartland Cres. in Penhold. In December 2012, a drug house at 51 Ibbotson Close in Red Deer was shuttered.

If you suspect suspicious or criminal activity at a property in your neighbourhood, you can file a complaint with SCAN at 1-866-960-SCAN (7226).

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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