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Efforts Continue to Keep Drug Dealers out of Skid Row

By Lauren Mattia
Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011, at 09:31AM
Protest at Conference Ed Fuentes

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich faced protestors at an April press conference in Gladys Park after the initiation of the injunction.

The City Attorney's office is one step closer to making Skid Row a safer environment for its residents. All but two of the 80 known drug dealers that were named on a criminal injunction intended to curb the neighborhood's drug dealing have been served.

In early April, the City Attorney's office teamed up with LAPD to get what it calls "commuter drug dealers" off the streets within the "Central City Recovery Zone," bordered by 3rd, 9th, Broadway and Central. "We worked with LAPD to get that information based on people who had already been charged with selling narcotics in the area," said Anne Tremblay, the Supervising Assistant City Attorney for L.A.'s anti-gang section.

Those named in the injunction "had statutory time to respond and are still pending litigation for the judge to issue final orders," Tremblay said, referring to the 45-day grace period that those listed on the injunction have before it becomes enforceable.

"The process is a little tricker because it was such a large group," said Tremblay. It is now in the judges' hands in the courts. "We’ve submitted all our paperwork but the judge does her work and reviews it and makes her decision," she said.

A series of hearings have already begun for the 80 individuals already in the injunction. "The folks in the first group have already been tried," Tremblay said. "But litigation is still pending in terms of what will result in criminal enforcement."

Nobody included in the injunction has filed paperwork to start a formal removal process but several have voiced their concerns.

While there were protests at the announcement of the injunction, Trembley noted that they have received largely positive feedback. "The community appreciates that we are making an effort to stop the people who are preying on those who are trying to get services and the help they need,"

"In the end, we are preventing folks from being able to have an open air drug market," Tremblay said.

As for what's next in the legal process, "Next Wednesday we have another hearing in the court for the next set of defendants." Tremblay said. "Another group will be tried in April."

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