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Operation DOPE: Drugs Out of the Public Eye

NCJ Number
Journal of California Law Enforcement Volume: 21 Issue: 1 Dated: (1987) Pages: 10-13
J C Chambers
Date Published
4 pages
This article describes the operations and effects of a community-oriented drug law enforcement effort by the Los Angeles Police Department, called Operation DOPE (Drugs Out of the Public Eye).
The task force received resources from a number of units and divisions within the department. The task force was composed of the investigative group, the enforcement group, and the support group. The investigative group targeted building owners who allowed the distribution of drugs on their premises. Local ordinances were used to force landlords to discourage drug dealers from operating in their buildings. The investigative group developed informant buyers as a means of identifying and obtaining evidence on drug sellers. The enforcement group set up observation points that targeted both dealers and buyers. The support group consisted of a records and identification unit, a major violators section, and a due diligence and complaint unit, which filed misdemeanor and felony cases and maintained liaison with the district attorney and city attorney's office. Since almost half of the arrested dealers were illegal aliens, the department worked with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to obtain the deportation of dealers after they served their sentences. Operation DOPE continued from May 20, 1985, to June 2, 1986. In that time, 4,826 arrests were made, and the filing rate averaged 91 percent. The conviction rate was 94.5 percent. The crime rate in the targeted area dropped 3 percent.