"It's both ironic and tragic that the county's largest recovery area is also the region's biggest drug bazaar," said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of Central Detective Division.
Acting on a tip that a large shipment of marijuana was being delivered April 7 in a gray Ford Escort, narcotics officers set up near the Bunker Hill Tower Apartments at 234 S. Figueroa St.
At around 4 p.m., a car, with three men inside drove up. It didn't take detectives long to realize they had the right car.
"There was so much weed in the car, they could smell it when they approached the driver's window," said Vernon.
Hector Cabrera, 33, of Riverside and Fernando Padilla, 38, of Big Bear were arrested. The third man was questioned and released.
Vernon said the arrest is an example of commuter drug dealing in downtown Los Angeles.
"That's the point of the new Skidrow injunction against drug dealers. It's outsiders who are bringing the drugs into this recovery area," said Vernon.
Neither Cabrera nor Padilla are among the 80 names listed on the drug dealer injunction.
Police are urging the public to report illegal drug activities. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting 274637 on your mobile phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD."