Skid Row. Photo by Jorobeq/CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Skid Row. Photo by Jorobeq/CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Authorities served multiple drug warrants around the Southland Wednesday and arrested 16 people, including the alleged kingpin of a drug-dealing operation on Los Angeles’ Skid Row.

As part of the same investigation, authorities in March seized about $1.8 million in currency, along with large amounts of cocaine, said Officer Liliana Preciado of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Among the arrestees was Derrick Turner, who the Los Angeles Times characterized as a “Skid Row drug kingpin.” Turner, 48, was arrested about 4 a.m. at his Cerritos home and was being held on $150,000 bail.

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. Among the evidence seized was $600,000 in one-dollar bills.

“The fact it was one dollar bills tells you a lot about his business on skid row,” LAPD Capt. Andrew Neiman told The Times, referring to Turner.

The sweep marks 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 were sickened during a string of overdoses linked to sales of tainted spice, or synthetic marijuana.

— Wire reports 

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