LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – At least 50 people have been arrested in connection with a two-year investigation into drug dealing on Skid Row, authorities reported Friday.
Along with the arrests, investigators have seized five kilograms of cocaine, five pounds of heroin, 857 pounds of methamphetamine, 46,000 fentanyl pills, six guns and $250,000 in cash, Los Angeles police reported.
Four of the 50 arrests were made Wednesday. Another 16 arrests are pending, the LAPD said.
Many of the suspects were street dealers who “prey on the homeless when they received their public assistance” at the beginning of each month, the LAPD said in a news release.
The investigation was a joint operation conducted by the LAPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“This investigation showed us there are people living in the suburbs, some with violent criminal histories, who wake up every day and make the conscious decision to commute to the Downtown area and sell dangerous and highly addictive drugs on the streets,” DEA L.A. Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner said in a statement. “Their target customers in many cases are people experiencing homelessness.”
The suspects face various state and federal charges ranging from possession for sale to conspiracy to sell and distribute illegal narcotics. Some suspects could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted as charged.
In September, a federal appeals court vacated a L.A. judge’s order that would have required the city and county of L.A. to provide housing to all homeless people living on Skid Row.