Business Section

January  2000

Neighbors Pressure Rentals' Owner on Drug Traffic Both sides threaten lawsuits over apartment complex

By Andrew PadillaJournal Staff Writer

found to be a nuisance, a judge could either order Torrez to evict the drug dealers, shut down the complex for a year, or even force her to forfeit it to the city.
   Valorie Vigil, neighborhood liaison for District Attorney Jeff Romero, said Romero is also considering either a civil or criminal lawsuit against Torrez.
   But Vigil said Romero might wait to see what the residents do first.
   This is not the first time Torrez has been under fire for having alleged drug dealers living in her apartments.
   In early 1997, Torrez, who was known then as Lillian M. Cruz, had been criminally charged with violating the city's abatement law.
   At the time, Torrez said she had just purchased the property and did not know there was illegal activity taking place there.
   The city later dropped the charges after she evicted several of the alleged drug dealers.
   Herring said it didn't take long for drug dealing there to begin again.
   "Nothing really happened," Herring said.  "(Torrez) would clean it up, but the property would slip back into its problem."
   Last month, police arrested three people on the same day for trafficking drugs at the complex.
   Police records show that Fabiola Caraveo, 20, Roberto Rincon, 32, and Pedro Urieta, 21, were arrested on Dec. 4.