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Alleged gang members charged in first test of Skid Row crackdown

November 17, 2011 | 11:35 am

http://opinion.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c7de353ef01156f579a40970c-320wi

City prosecutors have charged two men with violating an injunction prohibiting gang and narcotics activity on Los Angeles' skid row, the first such legal action since the injunction was issued, officials said Thursday.

Alleged gang members Briant Hicks, 22, and Mirando Faulks, 30, each faces one criminal count of violating a court order barring them from being present within the “Central City Recovery Zone” bordered by 3rd and 9th streets on the south and north and by Broadway and Central Avenue on the west and east.

The injunction, issued in April, names 78 people identified by law enforcement as "the most prolific narcotics dealers" in the area covered by the injunction. Fifty-six of the individuals are affiliated with more than 30 gangs, said John Franklin of the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

The injunction restricts those named in it from being present anywhere in the area, possessing drugs or dangerous weapons or using others to make drug sales to those who inhabit skid row. In particular, authorities have targeted homeless service agencies as well as San Julian Park and Gladys Park.

Hicks, on parole for drug offenses, was arrested on Nov. 5 after being seen by officers within the area covered by the injunction, the city attorney's office said.

Faulks, who has previous convictions for selling drugs and theft, was arrested Nov. 14 after officers saw him with "associating with known narcotic users within the stay away zone," city prosecutors said.

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-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter.com/anblanx)

Photo: Downtown Los Angeles' skid row. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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