UPDATE: Suspect from Roseville ‘meth house’ hiding out

Once admired address became a haven for criminal activity
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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The Roseville Police Department confirmed this week that Tom Simpson was recently taken into custody within the city, on the same day this story was first published.

A Roseville man charged with “maintaining a drug house” next to Royer Park where methamphetamine was used and sold is now fleeing additional arrest warrants after he disappeared while on supervised release.

The news came as little surprise to residents of Park Drive, who said 47-year-old Tom Simpson’s behavior and associates smote a beautiful, once-lauded home into squalor and caused ongoing problems on their street for years.

Two Roseville police officers appeared in the Old Auburn Courthouse the last week of January to testify against Simpson for a case that involves felony charges of maintaining a place for selling and using controlled substances, specifically methamphetamine. Those officers raided Simpson’s home at 181 Park Drive on Aug. 4 of last year. According to court records, Simpson was placed on supervised ordered release while awaiting trail. Three months later, the Roseville police department arrested Simpson again on charges of keeping a place to sell drugs, criminal conspiracy and committing a felony while out on bail for a felony. His wife, Chanel Simpson, was also arrested.

Simpson’s preliminary hearing on Jan. 25 was supposed to lay out the evidence against him in front of Placer County Superior Court Judge Teresa Estrada-Mullaney. But there was only one problem — Simpson didn’t show up.

Criminal defense attorney Chuck Pacheco told the judge and prosecutor that his client had cut off contact with him three weeks before and hadn’t returned calls since.

“I don’t where he is,” Pacheco said. “But he’s obviously not coming.” 

Estrada-Mullaney ordered new arrest warrants for Simpson on the meth case, as well as a pending issue of probation violation. He currently has four pending warrants totaling nearly $50,000.

Simpson grew up on Park Drive and has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for vehicle theft in 2001, smuggling contraband into jail in 2001, being under the influence of narcotics and reckless driving in 2003, driving under the influence of a controlled substance in 2005, possession of meth in 2007 and possession of meth and crystal meth pipes in 2011.

According to longtime neighbors, Simpson inherited the house at 181 Park Drive, which was passed down from the family that Saugstad Park is named after. Neighbors describe Simpson as highly intelligent and friendly, but said drug activity at 181 Park Drive has been “a nightmare,” prompting years of concern and problems in the neighborhood that include outside trash build-up, constant vehicle traffic at all times of the day and night, late hours of shouting and conflicts, transients coming and going from nearby parks and suspected parolees seeking refuge in the home. Concerns the house increased crime on the street may have been well-founded: Placer and Sacramento county court records show other individuals who have been arrested inside Simpson’s house during various incidents have prior convictions for theft, grand theft, credit card fraud, false imprisonment, assaults and a host of other crimes. 

Back in the 1960s, the dwelling at 181 Park Drive was considered by many to be one of Roseville’s most stately homes, set alongside the sprawling, tree-lined grass of Royer Park. Its spacious backyard pool was the site of many Roseville High School swim practices and get-togethers. 

Two years ago, Simpson remodeled the house with insurance money he had received, according to real estate records. A number of neighbors, many of whom were part of the Folsom Street Neighborhood Association, openly voiced concern to the city’s planning commission that Simpson was attempting to create a makeshift hotel for parolees and drug users. When Simpson recently sold the home, it reportedly took four commercial trash bins to clear out the front of his driveway.

Real estate agent Curtis Devore, who also lives on Park Drive, handled the sale. Devore confirmed the house has been purchased by an equity firm that plans to renovate it and then re-sell it. Without commenting on Simpson, DeVore said news of the sale was seen as a positive development by most in the neighborhood.  

“The company that bought the house plans to put more than $100,000 in restorative repairs into it,” DeVore said. “When they’re done, it will look a lot more like the house that people remember from back in the street’s heyday.”