Hampstead Road is a quiet, residential street in an affluent section of La Cañada Flintridge. Just off busy Chevy Chase Drive, it is home to large, gated estates. As such, it's one of the city's less-traveled roads.
Last Thursday, the calm serenity of the street was disrupted when law enforcement agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives served a North Carolina search warrant on a house in the 4000 block of Hampstead Road, according to the Charlotte, North Carolina, District Attorney's office, which issued the warrant after federal grand jury indicted eight North Carolina men and one La Cañada Flintridge man.
"It's a very quiet, residential street. Except for the residents, there's not that much traffic. You don't expect to see an ATF raid," said another resident of the 4000 block of Hampstead Road, who asked not to be named on the advice of his attorney. "It's pretty intimidating when you have large numbers of men running around in black. It's pretty frightening. This took us all by surprise."