What could only be described as a nightmare ended Wednesday when sheriff's deputies served search warrants and recovered drugs at what had been a hangout for teens, runaways and drug abusers. When the dust settled, four people were arrested on suspicion of serious felonies, two children were taken into protective custody and three teens were returned to the safety of their parents.
Deputies descended on the residence in the 19000 block of Bagby Drive in Canyon Country in the early morning hours and found methamphetamine, heroin, narcotics paraphernalia, used syringes and a 1-year old child living in unsanitary and hazardous conditions. They also found property they believed was stolen in residential and vehicle burglaries and was later traded for drugs.
“This was a rather extensive operation, over a month’s time involving a number of resources,” said SCV Sheriff's station spokesman Sgt. Darren Harris. “Anytime we have something of this magnitude where we have one particular house that’s essentially bringing down the neighborhood, attracting youth and potentially pushing them into drugs, we want to make sure we get that taken care of. We put a lot of resources into ensuring we can shut it down and restore the peace and remove that criminal element from the neighborhood.”
“We do come across these types of dwellings periodically that are not maintained, and have deplorable conditions, but it’s been awhile since we’ve seen one this bad,” he continued. “Deputies at the scene said I wouldn’t believe the conditions this one and a half year old child were in, or the condition that the house was in.”
The operation soon involved several different agencies, as officials from the city of Santa Clarita Code Enforcement were called in to inspect the dwelling and found a number of violations. Officials from the Department of Child and Family Services responded to the home and took the infant and a 14-year old girl into protective custody. Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control were also called in after deputies found a dying pit bull puppy in one of the rooms.
The warrants came after a month-long investigation by detectives from the SCV Sheriff's Burglary and Fraud team and LASD headquarters Narcotics Bureau.
Taken into custody at the scene were Kevin Jak, 42, who faces charges of felony child endangerment and possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
His son, Jeremy Jak, 21, was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of heroin and he is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. Also arrested were Joshua Graham, 20, of Saugus, on suspicion of felony possession of heroin and Danielle Killian, 33, on suspicion of felony possession of methamphetamine. Each are being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Three other teens, ages 14, 15, and 16, who were also at the house, were turned over to their parents. All told, more than 15 deputy sheriffs and a narcotics enforcement dog were utilized during the lengthy operation.
"We will aggressively go after anyone who is committing egregious felony crimes of this magnitude in our community," said Captain Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station. "If any criminals think they are going to jeopardize the safety of our neighborhoods with this kind of illegal activity and endanger our youth, they have another thing coming! That other thing is called a jail cell," he concluded.