LOCAL : 28 Arrested, 18 Cars Seized in Valley Drug Sting by LAPD, FBI

From Times Staff and wire service reports

Los Angeles police and FBI agents seized 18 cars and made 28 arrests this week in the San Fernando Valley during a narcotics operation in which undercover officers posed as drug dealers catering to drive-up customers, authorities said today.

The arrests were made Monday near Roscoe Boulevard and Variel Avenue in Canoga Park and Tuesday night on Orion Avenue near Nordhoff Street in Sepulveda, police said.

Lt. Gary Rogness said both areas are considered drive-through drug "hot spots," particularly the Orion Avenue location, because police recently used barricades to keep drug dealers and buyers out of a nearby neighborhood, resulting in much of the narcotics business moving to Orion.

Rogness said most of the arrests were made under a state law making the solicitation of narcotics illegal. Other arrests were for cocaine sales or possession. The cars, including two Jaguars valued at $40,000 each, were seized under federal forfeiture laws, he said.

Although police frequently seize cars belonging to alleged drug buyers, this week's operation was the first in which cars were taken from people who asked for drugs from undercover officers they thought were drug dealers, Rogness said.

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