Cops Take Down Southeast Spokane Drug House

SPOKANE, Wash. - Five people were arrested in southeast Spokane on drug charges at a flop house detectives think has ties to prostitution.

A search warrant was executed at a residence at 4th and Nelson in southeast Spokane Wednesday night.

The takedown of the house started in a briefing where officers go through the plan to execute the warrant. The SWAT Team commander shoots his own surveillance video of the target house so his team knew what to expect during what they thought would be a high-risk entry.

"In the course of the investigation there's been the allegation of weapons in the house guns also the sheer volume of people in there," Spokane police officer Dan Water said.

Police were hoping for at least a two to one advantage and use the element of surprise to approach the home and announce their presence. Once they made their initial entry, and with the SWAT Team safely inside the residence, detectives from the Special Investigation Unit began their search for drugs.

"It's our low level user dealer who sells enough to support their habit but they have a lot of traffic at their houses and they have a lot of other users there," Spokane police Sergeant Tom Hendren said.

And all those people using drugs bring with them crime to the neighborhood.

"On their way here they're burglarizing houses, they're breaking into cars, they're taking bikes out of yards this house is why we have such high rates of property crime," Officer Water said.

Neighborhood resource officer Dan Strassenberg knows the people arrested Wednesday night on a first name basis. He said the bust gave him the leverage he needed to permanently shut down the home.

"It's in foreclosure; I spend a lot of time tracking down the lending company and I found this morning who is actually responsible for it so we should be able to have an eviction done here pretty quick," Strassenberg said.

Several neighbors were delighted about the drug bust, but didn't want to talk about it publicly out of fear of retaliation from drug dealers and their customers.