Gang drug dealing targetted in revamped Hollywood
November 8, 2003
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – One of Los Angeles’ most notorious street gangs is being targeted by city officials in a bid to get drugs off the streets of the newly revitalized Hollywood.
Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is applying for a court injunction against the 18th Street gang that would bar 18 named members from selling drugs or even meeting together in the heart of the Hollywood tourist district.
“The new Hollywood does not tolerate drug dealers and gang members. That was the old Hollywood. It doesn’t exist any more,” Delgadillo told reporters.
The injunction, which will go before a judge later this month, is aimed at stopping drug selling and dealing by gang members along a section of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, officials said on Friday.
It means that police would be able to approach gang members seen in the proscribed area, even if they are not seen to be committing a crime. It would also impose a 10 p.m. to sunrise curfew barring gang members from being in the area at all.
Injunctions have been used against 18 different Los Angeles gangs in the last six years to stop members meeting together on city streets, in cars or in other public places.
But officials said the latest proposed injunction was the first to target a particular activity, such as drug dealing.
The heart of Hollywood — near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame — has undergone a $560 million face-lift in the past three years including a large retail and restaurant development and the 2001 opening of the Kodak Theatre as the new home of the annual Oscar ceremony.
Police say the 18th Street gang, one of the largest and most notorious of the dozens of violent Los Angeles gangs, uses money from crack and heroin dealing in Hollywood to buy guns and power in other communities.
“The city of Los Angeles and Hollywood residents and businesses have invested too much effort and too much money into revitalizing Hollywood to let drug dealers stand in our way,” Delgadillo said.