A short-term rental in Scottsdale, Arizona was found to contain $5.4 million worth of illegal drugs and weapons by a cleaning crew hired to clean up the property after it was rented out. Police were alerted to the discovery, which was made in late December, and praised the cleaning crew for reporting the suspicious activity. The stash included 1.7 million fentanyl pills, 110 pounds of methamphetamine, and 7.5 pounds of cocaine, along with at least 20 firearms. The owner of the rental has been cooperating with the police, but no arrests have been made yet, and the police are requesting tips from anyone with information about the situation. It remains unclear how the rental was booked.
Airbnb denied involvement and stated that they run criminal background checks on hosts and guests to try and prevent unsafe bookings. Vrbo, owned by Expedia, did not respond to requests for comment. The city ordinance requiring owners to license short-term rental properties in Scottsdale expired on January 8. As of December 14, only 530 out of an estimated 5,000 property owners had applied for or received the necessary license. The Mayor of Scottsdale had urged all owners to act immediately to comply with the ordinance.
The discovery of such a large stash of illegal drugs and weapons in a short-term rental is cause for concern, and it is important for people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity. Short-term rental companies have measures in place to try and prevent unsafe bookings, but it is ultimately up to property owners to ensure they are complying with local laws and regulations. It is crucial for cities to have effective licensing requirements for short-term rentals to help prevent illegal activity and ensure the safety of their communities.