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Narcotics

Drug abuse damages all sectors of society. Drugs destroy individual lives, break families apart, and are very often the motivating factor behind crimes.

To combat the drug problem, the District Attorney’s Office pursues several strategies. The Office participates in Drug Court, an effective diversion program for drug abusers. When cases are not appropriate for Drug Court, the District Attorney’s Office effectively prosecutes drug cases.

In addition, the District Attorney’s Office has established the Major Narcotics Division, a team of specially trained attorneys responsible for prosecuting significant narcotics trafficking organizations in Los Angeles County. This Division ensures that highly effective prosecutors represent the people of the State of California in cases against drug traffickers most responsible for the drug supply. The Division also is responsible for processing all applications for wiretaps, an effective information tool against drug traffickers and dealers.

The Major Narcotics Division prosecutes the following types of cases:

  • Seizures of large quantities of narcotics, such as cocaine and methamphetamine
  • Mid-level dealers involved in a conspiracy to distribute narcotics
  • Clandestine lab cases, including cases with multiple defendants conspiring to manufacture drugs or individuals supplying chemicals necessary for the manufacture of drugs
  • Any narcotics case resulting from a federal or state wiretap
  • Specialty narcotics cases involving informants; more than $100,000; reverse stings; narcotics facilitators; or murder

Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Response Team

The clandestine manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine has created a public health and safety crisis in Los Angeles County. One aspect of that crisis jeopardizes the safety of children long before the drugs hit the streets. More than 80 percent of all meth labs seized are found in homes, garages, apartments, motels, or mobile homes where children are often present. These labs, stocked with toxic chemicals and at high risk for explosions, expose children to highly dangerous living conditions.

To address this issue, the District Attorney’s Office and Department of Children and Family Services have teamed with the Los Angeles Interagency Police Apprehension Crime Task Force to create the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Response Team. The DEC Response Team specializes in seizing labs that manufacture methamphetamine and provides a coordinated response to the crisis of children found in home meth labs. To date, more than 600 children have been rescued from meth labs. All have received specialized medical and social services to diagnose and treat the physical and emotional effects of drug exposure.

In addition, the District Attorney’s Office has vertically prosecuted 420 criminal defendants involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine, meaning one highly trained prosecutor handled each case from beginning to end.

In 2003, the District Attorney’s Drug Endangered Children Response Team was named a Top Ten Award Winner by the Los Angeles County’s Quality and Productivity Commission at its annual awards program. The DEC Response Team has saved Los Angeles County $15 million in costs. More importantly, it has potentially saved the lives of hundreds of children.


Major Narcotics Division
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
320 West Temple Street, Rm. 345
Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Phone: (213) 974-6831


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Site updated: 31 Oct 2014
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