Information and Resources
of Drug Related Activity In Your Neighborhood
or two of the following indicators does not mean you have a drug house or methamphetamine
lab in your neighborhood, but a few of these signs together may indicate suspicious
Vehicles look suspicious, such as those with no license plates
- Visitors come and go throughout the day and night and stay for short periods
- Cars left running with a passenger in the car while the driver runs inside
- Influxes of increased traffic (random times of day, week, or month when large
number of cars come and go)
- Look for a light left on, a partially opened blind, or some other kind of
signal to indicate that drugs are available at the house
- People parking away from the premises and walking in
- Unkempt, disoriented or paranoid visitors or other neighbors
- People carrying in tools, electronics, or other items that might be used to
sell or trade for drugs
Conditions of Property
- Accumulation of trash or junk, specific to making meth (pictured below)
- Deterioration of the property
- Windows always covered
- Garage door never opens
- An inordinate number of vehicles left on the property
- Dismantling of vehicles, machinery, or other component items. Often the high
gives users nervous energy to start projects but they don't have the ability
to concentrate enough to put things back together
- Leave house infrequently or do not work
- Display paranoid or odd behavior
- Have erratic sleep patterns
- Neglect pets or children
- Have large parties
- Diminished hygiene
- Awake or asleep for days at a time
- Out of ordinary contact with youth. Lots of young visitors, especially when
the occupants do not have children of that age group
- Increased crime in the neighborhood, especially crimes of opportunity
like vehicle thefts and burglaries
- Other neighbors exhibiting unusual behavior, frequenting the drug house, or
defending the occupants
What Can I Do To Help?
The Skagit County Sheriff's Office relies on our citizens to keep us apprised
of unusual activity in your neighborhood. It is important that you never put
yourself in harms way. Additionally, if you discover or suspect a drug lab in
your neighborhood do not touch anything. Leave the area immediately and call
With the above information in mind the best thing you and your neighbors can
do is be a good witness. It is important to document what you observe and report
those findings to the Sheriff's Office.
What to Document and How to Report Your Documentation
If there is notabale activity at a suspected drug house, you should document
what you see. Note the date, time and type of suspicious activity you observe.
Provide vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers (if safely possible).
Also, note the number of people and describe each person involved. Remember
to document exactly what you observe, not what you think is happening.
Once you have accumulated information to report, contact the Sheriff's Office
non-emergency line at (360)428-3211 to report your findings or dial 9-1-1 if
you believe someone is in danger or if there is an in-progress crime being committed.
is it taking so long to get rid of the drug house in my neighborhood?
The Law and How It Applies
Skagit County Sheriff's Office recognizes the epidemic methamphetamine manufacturing,
distributing, and consuming is causing within our county and throughout the
nation. It is important to recognize that the same constitutional laws that
protect law abiding citizens also protect criminals. All citizens have the right
to freedom from unlawful searches and seizures of their person, vehicles, and
their home. The same rules apply to you as they do the occupants of the "drug
house" in your neighborhood. The Sheriff's Office will be as aggressive
as the law will allow in ridding neighborhoods of crime, but it must be done
appropriately. It is important to understand that the Sheriff's Office cases
against these drug houses be legally sound. With that in mind what are we doing
to help protect you?
The Evidence There is A Drug House
credible evidence needs to be collected in order to obtain a search warrant.
Even after a search warrant is served, there are many processes that have to
take place prior to trial; testing the drugs at a lab, preparing the case for
trial. All of these things take time, sometimes months or years. And while all
this is going on, the same suspects may be back at their house selling drugs
again. The Sheriff's Office does watch drug houses and stops people for legitimate
traffic violations as they leave. During these traffic stops our deputies are
looking for evidence or other information pertaining to the distribution or
consumption of drugs. Sometimes these stops lead to arrests, which would allow
for a search of the person and their vehicle. Occasionally, the suspects decide
to cooperate with the Sheriff's Office and provide enough information to obtain
a search warrant for the drug houses.
is one of the most successful traits needed to combat a drug house. These problems
will not be resolved overnight. It takes a collaborative effort of citizens
along with public and private agencies to rid a neighborhood of problem houses.
There may be times when fear and frustration may make you want to just give
up or move, but citizens must be committed to the long term in order to take
their neighborhood back. The Skagit County Sheriff's Office is proud to be your
partner in that process.