“They [students] all knew that this was the house to get marijuana,” he said.
Detectives staked out the dealer’s home on the 1200 block of Virginia Avenue for several hours Friday afternoon, he said.
They saw children walk up to the home, knock on the front door, then a young man appeared and took the children’s money in exchange for drugs, Johnstone said.
“It was just so much out in the open,” he said.
Four 13-year-old boys were detained by police during the stakeout. Two boys attend Toll and the others attend Wilson Middle School.
Detectives immediately got a warrant to search the alleged dealer’s home, which is across the street from Mark Keppel Elementary School’s basketball courts, and found marijuana, Johnstone said. The home is also near Toll Middle School and Hoover High School.
As detectives interviewed the 17-year-old boy, his phone was constantly ringing, Johnstone said. A detective answered the call, posing as a teen, and the caller asked if he could get marijuana.
The 17-year-old boy, who was a former Verdugo Academy student, told detectives that his clientele were mostly Toll and Wilson students, Johnstone said.
The boy and his mother, whose name wasn’t released, were arrested on suspicion of selling marijuana to the young students.
“She didn’t know that her son was selling drugs,” Johnstone said.
Detectives called and asked the parents of the detained middle school students to pick them up
“It’s so sad because I keep seeing the age of these kids get younger and younger,” Johnstone said.
Neighbor Bobby Benian noticed teens were always visiting the home and suspected something was happening.
He said the once-quiet neighborhood hasn’t been the same since the boy and his mother moved into the home about a year ago. Since they moved in, he said, the neighborhood is constantly busy and noisy.
“These kids do whatever they want,” Benian said.
The boy’s mother declined to comment Saturday about the arrest.
VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.