U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency Raids STVR in Cathedral City

CATHEDRAL CITY —Antonio Baciu arrived home Thursday morning in the 68000 block of Obregon Court to discover 10 law enforcement cars in front of his home. He later learned some of the vehicles belonged to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency Raids STVR

U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency Raids STVR

Turns out, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency served a warrant and raided a home permitted as a short-term vacation (STVR) rental in the Panorama neighborhood as it was allegedly operating as an illegal cannabis grow house. Neighbors said multiple police and unmarked vehicles responded to the scene. After no one answered the front door, officers reportedly busted in the door and searched the property in this upscale, otherwise quiet neighborhood.

“I live across from this house,” Baciu told Uken Report. “It has been a STVR for a few years. The police have been to the house bc of the noise. It’s a ‘party house.’ Today I came home to see 10 law enforcement cars in front of my house. I asked the officer what was happening. She said ‘possible illegal grow house.’ After they broke into the house, same officer said ‘It’s an illegal grow house.’ Wow! This is why it’s better to know your neighbors rather than have different neighbors every weekend with STVR’s.”

Cathedral City Code Compliance officers had to red tag the home as uninhabitable as the entire interior on the first floor had been converted to a cannabis cultivation center with a commercial generator, according to Chris Parman, communications manager for the city. Additionally, fire rated walls had been compromised and several air conditioners were added to the structure illegally. Electrical, plumbing and mechanical elements were illegally added to enhance the growing of cannabis.

No occupants were at the home during the raid, but one bedroom and one bathroom upstairs were left in their original conditions and the Drug Enforcement Administration believed that someone had been staying on premises. Unfortunately, this home is now unsafe to occupy and left abandoned, according to Parman.

The raid comes as complaints about STVRS are rising, according to City Manager Charles McClendon.

The ‘Cathedral City Short Term Vacation Rental Regulation Measure’ is on the March 2, 2021 Special Election ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would  uphold Municipal Ordinance No. 842,  which  established additional regulations on Short-term Vacation Rentals (STVR) citywide to address concerns raised by local residents about criminal activity, noise, and other impacts.


Image Sources

  • Antonio-2: Antonio Baciu
  • Code Enforcement: Doug Evans