KINGMAN – Raul Magana watched “kids” come and go with frequent regularity at a home in his Birdland neighborhood, and called the cops to report what he suspected was illegal drug dealing activity.
He never received a response, hasn’t seen any deputies knocking on their door and watches the activity continue, Magana said during a visit to the Daily Miner office.
The area north of Kingman falls into jurisdiction of Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Doug Schuster said he was disappointed to hear that Magana’s call fell upon deaf ears.
“We try diligently as a department to follow up on every complaint we receive,” Schuster said in an email response.
“Regarding drug activity, it is protocol to transfer the information to our narcotics division in MAGNET (Mohave Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team). They keep a running log and are very proactive in their approach.”
Mohave County has a reputation for having a drug problem, specifically identified for its high number of opioid overdoses, and Schuster said his department is doing all it can to combat the problem.
However, a complaint of Magana’s nature can’t be solved overnight.
The Sheriff’s Office must establish probable cause to pursue criminal charges, and a judge must issue a search warrant before infringing upon someone’s privacy. These are constitutional rights that many citizens might not take into account, Schuster said.
“We cannot take action based solely on a report that a citizen believes someone is dealing drugs,” he said. “What we can do is start an investigation to ascertain if probable cause exists to move forward.”