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40 Held on Drug Charges in Reverse Sting by Police

In a reverse sting operation, 20 narcotics officers opened up shop in a rock cocaine house and arrested 40 suspected buyers Friday night, Inglewood police said.

As part of their continuing use of the technique, the officers first took over three bungalows at 3853 W. Imperial Highway that were already being used to sell rock cocaine and arrested six suspected dealers, according to Sgt. William Siddall. They then used one of the cabins as the cocaine shop, a second as the booking facility and a third cabin as the field jail.

For the next six hours, an undercover officer posed as a dealer, selling rock cocaine to 34 individuals who approached and requested the drug, police said. The officer, who was wearing a hidden transmitter, recorded the action and signaled to other officers who arrested the suspects when the deals were completed.

Police called the bungalows a “rock buyers’ paradise” where undercover officers for two weeks had purchased cocaine and witnessed drug deals before obtaining search warrants for the sting operation.

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Meanwhile, in a continuing crackdown on gang-related activity, a task force of 200 Los Angeles police officers arrested 98 suspected gang members Friday night in the South-Central area, Lt. Jim Tatreau said.

Thirty-two people were arrested in felonies, eight of them narcotics violations. Officers also issued 171 traffic citations and questioned 583 people during the nine-hour operation.

Police began the anti-gang operations early last year.


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