SWAT, undercover officers converge on N. Phx home, detain eight people

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 7:54 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 31 at 11:32 AM

Map: 35th Avenue and Deer Valley

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Neighbors woke to exploding flash grenades

PHOENIX -- SWAT officers and undercover detectives converged on a North Phoenix home early Wednesday morning.

The Scottsdale Police Department led the operation, but are not releasing any details, saying only that they served a search warrant on the at home in the area of 35th Avenue and Deer Valley Road at about 5 a.m. That warrant is part of a drug investigation.

News Chopper 3 was overhead as officers moved in. Aerial video showed an armored vehicle on the scene.

Investigators were still at the home hours later.

Ground video from the scene showed a broken window in the front of the house.

A total of eight people were taken into custody. Investigators have not determined how many of them, if any, will be arrested.

"When we serve a warrant, we typically restrain everyone in the house for our safety and because they are in the home with illegal items," Sgt. Mark Clark of the Scottsdale Police Department explained in an email to 3TV's Tess Rafols. "There were eight people in the house on this one. ... This is a narcotics investigation and we are not in a position to give any more details about it at this point."

According to neighbors, a number of men have been living in the house for about a year. Those neighbors told Rafols that men were often working on cars in the driveway and people were always coming and going.

The sounds of exploding flash grenades made for a rude awakening for those living near the corner house where Scottsdale officers served their warrant.

Carol Fairbanks said it was loud and scary.

"I looked outside and there were lights shining," she explained. "At first I thought there was a bad car wreck or something right in front of my house."

Fairbanks quickly saw that there was no crash.

"I looked outside and there were all kinds of police vehicles out there -- trucks, SWAT team," she said. "It looked like an army."

Another neighbor said everything happened fast.

"I just heard bombs going off -- just boom, boom, boom!" Walter Suschinsy said. "I knew something went down on that house on the corner because they were staking out the place. We knew something was gonna happen, but I didn't know it was going to be this quick."

Police have not released any information about the suspects nor have they said anything about the investigation that led them to that North Phoenix home.

No injuries were reported in the course of the operation.

It was not clear when police would be able to release more information.

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