Los Angeles: On April 7, just five hours after the Los Angeles City Attorney announced the latest gang injunction aimed at gang-affiliated drug dealers in Skidrow, narcotics detectives arrested two men for transporting 60 pounds of marijuana to downtown Los Angeles.
“This marijuana was destined for Skidrow,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. “It’s both ironic and tragic that the county’s largest recovery area is also the region’s biggest drug bazaar.”
Narcotics detectives received an anonymous tip that a large shipment of marijuana was being delivered by men in a gray Ford Escort. Detectives set up near the parking lot of the Bunker Hill Tower apartments at 234 S. Figueroa Street. Around 4PM, the expected gray car drove up with three men inside.
“It didn’t take the detectives long to realize they had the right car,” Lt. Vernon explained. “There was so much weed in the car, they could smell it when they approached the driver’s window.”
Detectives arrested the unlicensed driver, Hector Cabrera, 33, and the front passenger Fernando Padilla, 38, for transporting over 50 pounds of marijuana. Bail for that charge was $100,000. Cabrera’s bail was increased by $40,000 due to an arrest warrant for drunk driving, and Padilla’s bail was increased due to a $5,000 arrest warrant for marijuana possession. An adult passenger in the backseat was questioned and released.
Cabrera lives in Riverside, and Padilla lives in Big Bear, California. “This arrest is another example of commuter drug dealing downtown,” Lt. Vernon said. “And that’s the point of the new Skidrow injunction against drug dealers; it’s outsiders who are bringing the drugs into this recovery area.”
The wholesale value of the 60 pounds of marijuana is estimated at $24,000. “And that translates into more than 27,000 ‘nickel’ bags and more than $100,000 in profit for the Skidrow drug dealers,”
Lt. Vernon explained. “Think what a detriment that would be to recovering addicts.”
The marijuana was tightly wrapped in packages, each weighing a little more than one pound. The packages were stacked into cardboard boxes.
Neither of the arrestees was among the 80 named drug dealers in the injunction announced the same day.
The public is urged to report information about illicit drug activities. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.