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News Release

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Media Relations

Joint Press Conference to Announce Stepped up Enforcement Efforts Against Illegal Tobacco Sales

LAPD and Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo

Joint Press Conference to Announce Stepped up Enforcement Efforts Against Illegal Tobacco Sales

Friday, September 27, 2002
10:00 A.M.

In Front of Central Community Police Station
251 East Sixth Street
Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Over the past several months, community members, parents, school administrators and business owners have all expressed concern regarding the increasing trend of illegal street and vehicular sales of tobacco products; most notably, cigarettes. A majority of these sales involved untaxed and illegally imported cigarettes. Not only does this sort of activity undermine the efforts of legitimate businesses, but it also poses very serious health risks to unsuspecting members of the community. The fact is that quite often, these products are illegally imported and have not been subjected to the standards imposed on tobacco products that are sold legally, here in the United States.

In an effort to combat this problem, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) combined their efforts in an attempt to aggressively pursue, arrest and prosecute those individuals and groups who choose to engage in this sort of black market activity. Since June of this year, LAPD personnel have arrested over 35 suspects for violations of Section 30474 of the Revenue and Tax Code and seized over $12,000.00. Many of these arrests occurred at or near the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles. In response to these arrests, and in an effort to aggressively prosecute these arrestees, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has filed charges against 30 of these individuals.

This combined effort on the part of the LAPD and the City Attorney’s Office is but another example of the Department’s commitment to addressing community problems that affect public safety.

If you have additional questions, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.