It’s not unusual at all to see drug deals happen in plain sight in the Los Angeles neighborhood known as Skid Row. This area, according to Wikipedia, contains the largest concentrated population of homeless in the country. Crime here is commonplace and has been for sometime.
A new effort by law enforcement, however, seeks to eliminate some of the bigger named dealers in the area, however. Due to overcrowding and other factors, these dealers serve notoriously short sentences for their run ins. The LAPD seeks to change that.
According to NPR, law enforcement is seeking an injunction that would allow them to arrest certain dealers on site for being present in the Skid Row area. There are 80 well known dealers that will be placed on this black list, prohibited from even entering the neighborhood.
If caught in violation of this injunction, the dealers will be sentenced to 6 month behind bars if the cops get their way. Although this does seem harsh, when you consider these 80 dealers and the far reaching impact they have on the homeless and addicted population, the police think it’s more than reasonable.
The problem, they state, is that the system doesn’t require these drug dealers to serve any significant amount of time in jail. The NPR report states that they have actually stopped running from the police, knowing their penalty won’t be that bad.
If the dealers were prosecuted within every extent of the law, they might do more time. A charge of selling drugs is typically a felony and carries about 3 to 5 years. However, plea bargaining and other factors mean even well known dealers rarely face this kind of sentence.
Being accused of selling or even being in possession of drugs can be a very humbling experience. No matter what neighborhood you are in, being arrested is no walk in the park. With prison sentences and exorbitant fines possible, you would be right to be concerned when facing charges like this.