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Narcotics Officer, Making Arrest, Wounds Woman

August 23, 1986

A 38-year-old woman who police said had arranged to sell them a large quantity of cocaine was accidentally shot in the arm by an undercover narcotics officer, Burbank police reported Friday.

They said the woman, Clemencia Leon of Hollywood, had tried to grab the officer's shotgun as he was arresting her. She was in good condition in the jail ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after surgery that failed to save her right hand, Sgt. Don Goldberg said.

Leon, who is Cuban, was shot about 9:50 p.m. Thursday as she tried to sell officers about five pounds of cocaine near Koreatown, in the parking lot of a supermarket at the corner of Vermont Avenue and 3rd Street, Goldberg said.

Also arrested in the parking lot were Nelson Llanos, 27, and Ivan Pagan, 29, both of Hollywood. Pablo Hidalo, 35, was arrested at an apartment in Hollywood. All four suspects, who were booked on suspicion of possession of cocaine with intent to sell, were held in lieu of $100,000 bail each.

Goldberg said the investigation began last week after officers received a tip about a major cocaine ring run by Cubans and Colombians.

An undercover officer bought an ounce of cocaine from ring members and then made arrangements to buy two kilos for about $50,000, Goldberg said. The larger sale, planned to take place in Burbank Thursday night, was changed to the Los Angeles location at the last minute, Goldberg said.

During the transaction, a scuffle broke out, and Leon grabbed the barrel of an officer's shotgun, which discharged accidentally, said Goldberg, who refused to identify the officer.

Leon was taken to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, then transferred to County-USC, Goldberg said. The three men are being held at Burbank Jail.

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