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Lawyer Held in Plan to Push Drugs in Jail

February 05, 1989|From United Press International

A lawyer suspected of distributing drugs in Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles by providing the narcotics to inmate clients was arrested after a two-month undercover investigation, sheriff's officials have reported.

Lawrence Elkins, 35, was arrested late Thursday at a bar in South-Central Los Angeles, Sheriff's Deputy Van Mosley said. He was booked at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of intent to distribute cocaine in a jail facility.

An investigation of Elkins by the sheriff's Major Narcotics Violation Detail was begun two months ago when jailers were tipped off that the lawyer was "facilitating the delivery of narcotics to jail inmates," Mosley said.

An undercover deputy became acquainted with Elkins and an associate, whose name was withheld, and was able to provide Elkins, through the associate, with two ounces of rock cocaine, Mosley said.

On Wednesday, Elkins appeared in Municipal Court at the downtown Criminal Courts Building as attorney for jail inmate Dwayne White, 26. According to information obtained in the investigation, Elkins intended to pass the drugs to White so they could be distributed in jail, but the delivery was not made due to a problem in packaging, Mosley said.

"Elkins later contacted the undercover deputy and provided the deputy with the narcotics contraband with instructions to repackage it for later delivery," Mosley said.

The lawyer was arrested before the new delivery was made.

Meanwhile, White pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that he brought marijuana into the Men's Central Jail on Oct. 12 after a meeting with Elkins in the attorney room of the jail. He now faces sentencing.

No charges were made against Elkins in that case.

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