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Los Angeles police arrested a man they say is a skid row drug kingpin at his suburban home in Cerritos along with 15 others as part of an early-morning sweep targeting downtown’s infamous drug market.

LAPD Swat officers and DEA agents served a warrant on suspected skid row drug kingpin Derrick Turner in Cerritos early Wednesday morning as part of a massive drug sweep. (Credit: Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)
LAPD Swat officers and DEA agents served a warrant on suspected skid row drug kingpin Derrick Turner in Cerritos early Wednesday morning as part of a massive drug sweep. (Credit: Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times)

Authorities said the goal was to break up what officials described as a dominant ring supplying cocaine and heroin on the streets of downtown L.A. at a time when the homeless population is rising along with concerns about crime. Among the evidence seized in the raids was $600,000 in one dollar bills.

“The fact it was one dollar bills tells you a lot about his business on skid row,” LAPD Capt. Andrew Neiman said.

The sweep marks the latest in years of crackdowns targeting the drug bazaar that has long operated on the streets of skid row, preying on a homeless community where addiction is a major problem. Over the weekend, 15 people were sickened during a string of overdoses linked to sales of tainted spice, or synthetic marijuana.

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