The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) arrested a man who was “masquerading as a homeless outreach advocate while supplying homeless individuals with narcotics” in the Venice neighborhood on Thursday.
Investigators from the department announced the arrest was made after several hours of surveillance when Deputies witnessed Garry Featherstone, 65, “complete several hand-to-hand” transactions.
“In the afternoon hours of Thursday, July 22, 2021, investigators conducted the search warrant operation on a tent near 3rd Avenue and Rose Street, as well as a residence in the Venice area, and arrested Featherstone for possession of Phencyclidine (PCP) for sale…and possession of Methamphetamine for sale,” an LASD statement said. “Over 15,000 dollars in U.S. currency was also recovered.”
LASD- Man Arrested For Narcotics Sales In Connection With Venice Homeless Outreach Organization
Click on link below for full story:
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) July 24, 2021
Authorities said Featherstone is connected to a Venice homeless outreach organization registered with the city’s finance department called “Homeless Enterprise,” which he allegedly operates from a tent encampment. According to LASD, Featherstone also used the tent as a base of operations to facilitate drug sales.
“This is another clear example of how several people are using the veil of outreach to run criminal enterprises and exploit the already marginalized population of county residents who are experiencing homelessness,” said L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. “It’s time for common sense, compassionate regulation of public space.”
The Sheriff’s Department pointed out that the tent Featherstone allegedly used was in “close proximity to the ‘Venice Bridge Home,’” a transitional housing facility that can accommodate 100 adults and 54 youth. The shelter was promoted as a way to reduce the number of encampments in Venice by moving transients indoors. The project was pushed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin, both political rivals of Sheriff Villanueva.