5 people arrested in connection to 'spice' drug distribution on Skid Row, LAPD says

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Five people were arrested in connection to the distribution of the synthetic drug "spice" on Skid Row, Los Angeles police announced Thursday.

Los Angeles police say five people were taken into custody on Wednesday around noon in the area of 5th and San Pedro streets for possession of spice for sale.

Following the arrests, police raided a South L.A. building believed to have been a manufacturing location. Police recovered money, drugs and chemicals used to manufacture spice, according to the LAPD.

Spice has become popular among the homeless population on Skid Row. On Aug. 19, 50 people were evaluated after falling ill from the drug, and 38 were hospitalized. A similar incident happened Aug. 22, with 18 people overdosing on the drug.

Officials called the rise of spice overdoses during the summer a public health crisis. On Friday, the Los Angeles City Council passed an emergency motion to stop the sale of spice.

"These arrests are significant due to the fact that these individuals targeted the homeless residents of Skid Row by providing an inexpensive alternative to other drugs that in many cases caused the user to develop life threatening side effects," the LAPD said in a press release.

The names of the suspects in custody were not immediately released.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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