LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro Police are pulling back the curtain for the first time on a problem they say is plaguing the Las Vegas valley: unlicensed group homes.
The I-Team got an exclusive look into what investigators have found, arrests they’ve made and how prevalent the problem may be here.
Metro tells us they’ve discovered 36 unlicensed group homes over the past two years. Licensed group homes have strict rules they have to follow, and some offer specialized care.
But in unlicensed homes, police say the elderly, the homeless and people with disabilities are recruited, ripped off and placed in dangerous living conditions.
“They don’t really see what we see, the victims, they see them as cash cows,” said Metro Sgt. James Johnson.
Police say they discovered 18 elderly and vulnerable adults, along with two children, living in a six bedroom east side home in 2019. Investigators described the conditions as “deplorable.”
Mary Glenn was in charge, they say, and court records obtained by the I-Team reveal she’s a felon with aliases.
“She was one of the most egregious that we’ve had,” Johnson shared.
He says there may be hundreds of victims, since Glenn operated several unlicensed group homes. Prosecutors say she had no license to run a business or provide medical care.
Metro Lt. David Valenta says they are uncovering more of these types of unlicensed group homes throughout Clark County.
“These are people that are looking for a roof over their head,” he explained. “They’re being targeted because they have steady governmental benefits, Social Security, Medicaid, and they’re taking advantage of them, putting them in a house and then not delivering on the promises.”
Valenta says the promise is for a room, food, and in some cases, medical care.
But residents soon learn the truth.
“No heating, no air condition, bedbugs infestation, rodents, no running water, no working bathrooms,” Johnson continues, “where they’ll stack 10, 15, 20 people and, remember, these people all need a higher level of care.”
He says residents in some homes may not even have access to their own money. Some victims with dementia may not understand how they got there.
In some homes, there are individuals known as “enforcers.”
“They’re anointed to be the caretaker. But realistically, they’re there to make sure nobody causes waves,” Valenta explained. “Nobody notifies authorities, calls the police. So, they can just keep the cash flow going.”
Investigators say Glenn and her partner, Devon Floyd, told police they made about $30,000 each month in mostly cash rent from various group homes they ran in the valley.
The arrest report describes some of the victims found in this home:
A 75-year-old with Parkinson’s lying in his own urine, who said he was fed once a day.
A 66-year-old with dementia, who cried that he needed his medications.
A 75-year-old double amputee, who had to leave the house to use the restroom, since the first floor bathroom didn’t work.
After police went in with a search warrant, some of the residents were taken to the hospital. The two children were placed with Child Protective Services.
Glenn and Floyd face charges related to abuse and neglect of the elderly and the vulnerable. Both are in jail awaiting trial, as investigators continue to find more unlicensed group homes.
“It really is sad what somebody will do to somebody else just to make a few dollars,” Johnson lamented.
Prosecutors say while Glenn was placed on house arrest, she fraudulently filed for unemployment and small business loans. She received approximately $30,000.
Glenn faces additional charges now and is back in jail.
The I-Team received no comment from Glenn and Floyd’s attorneys.