"Juggalo" Drug Bust in Clovis

November 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Clovis Police say there are two things that make Thursday's drug bust quite unusual. The men are accused of selling a powerful new narcotic. And they're also said to be Juggalo's ... A loosely formed group that police say -- blurs the line between music and mayhem. Clovis Police have been receiving complaints about drug dealing from neighbors for months. Through the use of undercover drug buys police gathered enough evidence to make seven arrests. But neighbors say it was obvious to them for a long time that drug dealing was going on.

Neighbors say it was pretty easy to figure out what was going on at the house, even if they didn't know about their connection to a strange lifestyle.

Neighbor: "You see a guy out front waving a flag, car pulls out, they run out with a package. Give me a break man; they can't be any more obvious in what they were doing."

Neighbor: "I tell you, it's bad. At night between four, five, and six in the morning it's like a dispensary, coming and coming and going. It was bad we had the whole area here intimidated by it."

Police say the house was a place where the powerful and highly addictive painkillers Oxycontin and Opana were being sold. They also found other prescription drugs methamphetamine and marijuana.

Police arrested seven people, including the homeowner. He's identified as Jeffrey Nicholas. He's 45 years old. The six others arrested ranged in age from 18 to 28. Police say they are members of an unusual gang.

Janet Stoll-Lee with the Clovis Police said, "Six of the seven arrested are validated Juggalo gang members."

Juggalo's are known for wearing clownish makeup. Many are fans of the band "Insane Clown Posse." One of the suspects arrested in Clovis appears to still have some clown makeup on his face when police took his photo.

Police acknowledge most who consider themselves Juggalo's are not gang members. But defense attorney Rick Horowitz says putting a gang label on the suspects can get them a stiffer sentence if convicted whether the label fits or not.

Horowitz said, "When they charge them, they get to add the enhancements. The enhancements basically take a crime for which somebody might get a certain small number of years and turn it into a crime where they might get a certain large number of years."

In addition to the arrests, three children, between the ages of six and nine were removed from the home and placed in the care of Child Protective Services.

Neighbors tell us that since the arrests Thursday morning, cars and people continue coming by the house.



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