Cracking down on illegal, out-of-control parties in Montgomery County

Houses in our area are being rented out for rowdy, illegal parties. Now officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, are taking action.

“Some of these houses have been repeat offenders. They know they’re violating, and those are the houses that obviously we’re focused a lot on moving forward,” said Earl Stoddard, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for Montgomery County.

During a weekly news briefing, Stoddard described an ongoing, multi-department collaboration in response to these illegal commercial house parties. Agencies involved include the police department, fire marshal’s office, the Department of Permitting Services, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and Human Services and the state’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission.

WTOP previously reported on the “Wet Dreams Mansion Pool Party” hosted inside a Stapleford Hall Drive home in Potomac in May.

The party drew a large crowd after being advertised online, with neighbors telling WTOP the streets were packed with cars during the out-of-control five-hour party. Neighbors reportedly heard people screaming profanities, smelled drugs and saw illegal fireworks.

Neighbors also expressed frustration with the county, saying they called 911 and 311 but did not get help.

“We see in the movies police go in and break up college parties all the time. That’s not the way it works with some of these civil citations,” Stoddard said. “Going in and breaking up activity on a private party is limited to criminal activity, and often some of these are civil violations.”

Stoddard said dates and times are listed for future parties, but not specific locations.

“You obviously have to know the super-secret handshake to be able to get tickets, so we’re sort of monitoring,” he said. “We know when those events are going to be, and we’re going to have teams prepared to respond to them, should they emerge in Montgomery County.”

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