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LAPD Arrests Two Teens In Connection With Youth Drug Overdoses, Death in Hollywood

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Helen Bernstein High School
(Image via Flickr Creative Commons)
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LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced on Thursday that two teenagers were arrested in connection with several drug overdoses including the death of a student at Bernstein High School in Hollywood.

At a press conference at LAPD’s downtown headquarters, Moore said that a 15-year-old boy was arrested for selling drugs to two teens on the Bernstein High School campus.

The student who overdosed and died was identified by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office as 15-year-old Bernstein student Melanie Ramos.

Another 16-year-old boy sold drugs to at least one other teen who overdosed at the nearby Lexington Park.

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Smarter and stronger, more morally driven people will find you, will prosecute you, and will punish you.
— LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho

Moore said the arrested teens are both students at Apex Academy, a charter school located on the Bernstein High School campus complex.

A fourth teen was also found overdosing, but has not come forward to police, according to Lt. John Radtke of LAPD’s West Bureau Homicide Unit.

“There is a drug organization behind this,” Moore said, adding that their investigation will continue. The department said that they’ve recorded drug overdoses in the area dating back to August 26th.

The pills were laced with fentanyl, a drug the CDC says is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Fentanyl-laced pills are increasingly contributing to fatal drug overdoses in teens. A UCLA report in April showed that the rate of drug overdose deaths in teens nationwide nearly doubled in 2020 and rose another 20% in the first half of 2021.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said they’re working to locate what he believes are adults who gave the teen dealers the drugs.

“Smarter and stronger, more morally driven people will find you, will prosecute you, and will punish you,” he said.

Carvalho said to combat teen drug use he wants to turn inactive schools and streets into places kids can hang out after class.

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Emily Elena Dugdale covers smaller police departments around Southern California, school safety officers, jails and prisons, and juvenile justice issues. She also covers the LAPD and the L.A. Sheriff’s Department.