Successful Criminal Prosecution by Code Strike Teams
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
June 19, 2007
First Successful Criminal Prosecution by Enhanced Code Enforcement Strike Teams
Fairfax County’s Enhanced Code Enforcement Strike Teams successfully prosecuted their first criminal case last week.
Raimundo Guevara, co-owner of 6306 Dana Ave., Springfield, was convicted in circuit court for violating the fire safety code. His misdemeanor conviction resulted in a $1,000 fine. The county also is pursuing a civil case against Guevara for overcrowding, a violation of the county’s zoning ordinance.
“This conviction sends a message that illegal boarding houses and unsafe living conditions will not be tolerated in Fairfax County,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly.
Guevara was issued a criminal summons on March 29 for violating section 1027.3 of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code. He failed to appear in court on June 12, and the case was tried in his absence.
Fire marshals cited Guevara for a blocked emergency exit in the single-family house at 6306 Dana Ave. A door — the only means of escape from two bedrooms during a fire — was locked with a deadbolt and blocked with furniture.
To date, the strike teams are pursuing investigations or prosecutions in 47 cases, including 6306 Dana Ave.
The teams are responsible for inspecting residential properties suspected to be illegal boarding houses or with suspected violations. As part of the initiative, the county also will seek to prosecute landlords who are profiting from systematically violating zoning, building and safety ordinances. Residents can report a suspected illegal boarding house at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/striketeam.
For more information, call Merni Fitzgerald, Office of Public Affairs, at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.
For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.