Police say concerns are growing over an apparent heroin give-a-way program initiated by gang members hoping to increase their clientele.
Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa says local teens are the target of a Hollywood-based gang trying to expand into the area.
Gang members are reportedly giving free samples of heroin to teens and teaching them to smoke the drug.
The gang has also recruited members of the now-defunct 211 crew of La Crescenta into their fold, De Pompa said.
At least 32 locals have been identified as belonging to the gang, he added.
The chief says all drug-related offenses in January investigated by Glendale police in the Crescenta Valley were attributed to heroin.
Heroin use has been escalating in the Crescenta Valley in the last five years as more high school students and young adults have become hooked, he said during a presentation to the City Council on drug use in northern Glendale.
"For years and years, La Crescenta seemed to be untouched by a lot of the big-city ailments that we started experiencing in the rest of the community, and we are starting to see a change in that now," he said.
March 26, 2010