Drug Sting Operation Nets 15 Arrests

December 21, 2005

Los Angeles: Narcotics officers out of Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Police Station, downtown, arrested 15 people today connected with buying or selling heroin. One of those arrested was actor Brad Renfro, 23, of Los Angeles.

“More heroin is sold around the Skid Row area [of Los Angeles] than all other places in California combined,” said Captain Andrew Smith. “We want to send the message that if you come to downtown for drugs, you will be arrested.”

In the span of a few hours this afternoon, six undercover narcotics officers sold balloons of heroin to persons who solicited them on the street near 6th and Spring Streets. Fourteen persons, including Renfro, were arrested for attempted purchase of heroin, a felony under state law. The substance in the balloons sold by the officers was not real heroin, but bunk. One other person was arrested for selling real heroin to one of the undercover operators.

“The demand for heroin is so great in this area that we could have made more arrests if I had more officers,” said Detective Ron Hodges. “The number of arrests for a shift is limited to the number of arrests we can process in that time.”

Most of the arrests were made in plain view of print, television, and radio reporters covering the operation. The presence of cameras did not seem to deter the drug addicts.

Renfro was arrested around 4 PM and booked at the LAPD Metropolitan Jail, downtown. His bail was set at $10,000.