Police and city officials called the raids that led to his arrest and the seizure of drugs and cash a major step forward in keeping narcotics away from the homeless.
A man dubbed by police as the kingpin of a drug- dealing operation on Los Angeles’ Skid Row was free on bail last week, but police and city officials called the raids that led to his arrest and the seizure of drugs and cash a major step forward in keeping narcotics away from the homeless.
“Los Angeles will not tolerate anyone who preys on some of the most vulnerable people we have in our city — people who have deep challenges with mental health, people who have in the past or still are today addicted to drugs and to other substances, people who have come back from war,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a downtown news conference.
Police arrested 16 people during the April 27 raids. Over the course of the investigation, police seized about $1.8 million in cash, along with large amounts of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, police said. Of the cash that was seized, about $600,000 of it was in $1 bills, with police saying dealers sold small amounts of drugs to the homeless for $1 to ensure they could afford it.
Among those arrested was Derrick Turner, who police called a “kingpin” of drug sales on Skid Row. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Turner has been dealing drugs in the area for three decades. Turner, 48, was arrested at his Cerritos home about 4 a.m. Wednesday, but has since posted bail.
Turner is set to be arraigned May 18. He is charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, possession for sale of a controlled substance and proceeds derived from controlled substance offenses.
Three others charged along with Turner pleaded not guilty late this afternoon and are due back in court June 3 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.
Louis Bernard McAdoo, 50, is charged with two counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance and one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of money or instruments over $100,000 and possession of a controlled substance with a firearm. The criminal complaint alleges that McAdoo was “in possession” of more than $1.5 million. Officers allegedly recovered seven kilograms of cocaine from the vehicle McAdoo was driving, and cocaine, heroin and U.S. currency were found at one of McAdoo’s residences, according to the complaint. Henry Rodell Walker, 54, is charged with the same three counts as Turner. Chasity Diana Jackson, 42, is charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime and possession for sale of cocaine base. The sweep — the result of a yearlong investigation — was the latest in years of crackdowns targeting the drug bazaar that has long operated on the streets of Skid Row, preying on a homeless community where addiction is a major problem. Over the weekend, 15 people in the area were sickened by tainted spice, or synthetic marijuana.
Authorities said their goal was to break up a dominant ring supplying cocaine and heroin on the streets of downtown Los Angeles at a time when the homeless population is rising, along with concerns about crime.
“We need to use every resource available to the Los Angeles Police Department to make a difference in Skid Row so we can prepare the ground for the mayor’s plans to improve that neighborhood,” Beck said.