Pubdate: Wed, 17 Oct 2007
Source: Palisadian-Post, The (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Pacific Palisades Post
Author: Sue Pascoe , Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Youth)


The Los Angeles Police Department Vice Unit has arrested seven juveniles 
and one adult this month for alcohol violations and illegal drug use in 
Pacific Palisades. This follows 14 arrests in September for similar illegal 
activity at the Mobil station, corner of Sunset and Swarthmore.

On October 4, a 21-year-old male and an underage male were observed 
drinking alcohol in the parking lot behind the Mobil station. Both live in 
the Palisades. The adult was charged for drinking in a public place, the 
minor was cited for underage drinking.

On October 10, five youths were arrested for possession of marijuana and a 
sixth was charged with dealing. The drug activity was first observed in the 
Mobil station area at 3 p.m. A 17-year-old female Palisades resident was 
followed and arrested at Via de la Paz and Sunset. Evidence found on the 
girl included a scale, grinder and 'pay and owe' sheets. She had previously 
been arrested for drinking in public.

The other five youths, all males from outside the Palisades, drove from the 
Mobil station to the Palisades Charter High School parking lot, where they 
were arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. The youngest 
was 14, joined by two 16-year-olds, a 17- and an 18-year-old. The youth 
told police that they thought it was okay to buy the marijuana because it 
was sold to them by a person who had a medical marijuana card.

LAPD Vice Unit member Ronald Crump told the Palisadian-Post that since the 
federal courts have not ruled on the legality of medical marijuana, selling 
and possession is still a crime. (The Supreme Court ruled in Raich v. 
Gonzales in 2005 that the federal government can prosecute medical 
marijuana patients. Several medical marijuana dispensaries in California 
have since been subject to drug raids.)

In addition to the arrests made in conjunction with illegal activity at the 
Mobil station, the vice unit has also learned about similar activity at 
other Palisades locations.

'We've been disappointed that no one initiated mobilization from the 
community,' Crump said, referring to the Post's September 29 front-page 
story on about the arrests. 'I received no calls. I was disappointed there 
wasn't a response from anybody. Even the Palisades Community Council never 
called to ask us for advice.'

In the article, LAPD asked the Community Council's assistance 'in taking a 
stand against the Mobil station's practice of selling alcohol to minors as 
well as allowing the property to be used as a haven for minors to consume 
alcoholic beverages and narcotics.'

In addition, Crump complained that Palisades Patrol and Bel-Air/ADT Patrol 
(the local private security companies) haven't provided help. 'They know 
more of the kids than we do,' he said.

'We were unaware they wanted our help,' Palisades Patrol CEO Scott 
Wagenseller told the Post this week. 'We'd like to assist LAPD in any 
possible way.'

Bel-Air Patrol's Mike Ball was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Crump also wants Palisades parents, residents and business owners to become 
more responsible and proactive in responding to illegal activity by the 
town's youth and not to ignore lawbreaking (as he writes in an Opinion 
piece, page 2).

'There should be zero tolerance from the community,' Crump said. 'We're not 
the moral police. It is the community's responsibility to change the trends 
and norms of behavior: what is accepted and what's not.

'We're [the vice unit] not going to waver in right and wrong,' Crump 
emphasized, and he urged residents 'to create a community consensus that 
clearly states that drug use and underage alcohol consumption are illegal, 
unhealthy and unacceptable.'

Anyone who wants to report criminal activity such as underage drinking or 
the use or sale of narcotics can call the LAPD Vice Unit at (310) 444-1514 
or e-mail  Or, contact Palisades Senior Lead Officer 
Michael Moore at (310) 444-0737.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D