Even a brazen homicide at a known drug house in Chilliwack wasn’t enough to quell threatening and bad behaviour that’s terrorizing a neighbourhood.
A drug dealer was killed inside the bright yellow house at the corner of Broadway and Cedar avenues early in the morning on Jan. 31 in a hail of bullets fired from outside.
Cody Isaacson represents the first homicide of the year in the city, a murder that tragically came as no surprise to his father.
The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) was called in Thursday to investigate at the house notorious to those who live nearby.
“Myself and neighbours have been going through hell with threats to our neighbour’s children plus hostilities to all of us using our street,” one resident of the area said.
That neighbour predicted on Feb. 1 that after IHIT left the scene of the homicide, people would be back.
He was right.
“Once the police finished the murder and drug investigations, they were up and running within hours of the police tape being removed.”
Five neighbours of the house have contacted The Progress with stories of fear and threats as drug dealing and stolen property comes and goes.
“Within a hour of the cops leaving the house is full of crackheads again,” said a different neighbour.”
“The amount of crap we have witnessed is pure insanity,” said yet another. “We can have upwards of 20 cars turn around in an hour, and this doesn’t account for the walk-ins, the bicycles and the cars who don’t turn around on our road. Most of these people bringing stolen property in trade for drugs.”
Two weeks before the murder, on Jan. 16, a huge police presence descended on the house and neighbours say arrests were made and evidence was seized. At that same time a City of Chilliwack bylaw officer posted a no-occupancy notice in the window. A city spokesperson said this was done so under the city’s Nuisance, Noxious or Offensive Trades, Health and Safety bylaw. That means there was either a marijuana grow operation inside or, more likely, a crystal meth lab.
Communications manager Jamie Leggatt explained that no-occupancy orders are effective immediately when posted, but if tenants refuse to move it becomes a Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) issue. The city does have the ability to fine a property owner if a no-occupancy order is ignored, but in this case Leggatt said it’s their understanding the owner is trying to evict the people so it’s in the RTB’s corner.
Neighbours say police were at the house again on Feb. 3, but Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said only that he could confirm it’s their understanding that the folks that were in the house prior to the homicide have moved back in.
Now Rail said the issue of residents illegally in the home is not a police matter, but is one for the City of Chilliwack.
Between police, city bylaw officials, the landlord and the Residential Tenancy Branch, neighbours are caught in the middle and feel like they are living in a war zone.
A day after the murder and soon after police left the scene, one neighbour said many people showed up and it appeared they were having a wake at the house with the victim’s brother even taunting and threatening neighbours.
“As much as I hate the thought of another neighbourhood having to deal with these low-lifes, I just need them gone so I can sleep.”
Another neighbour said he was sorry Isaacson was killed, but he wondered if friends and family would consider the pain the criminal activity is causing children and families nearby.
“This man has had us living in a war zone,” he said. “This sadly is the other side of the story for these criminals operating in our community.”
As of Tuesday, 21 days after the no-occupancy notice was put up, people were still in the house.