As of Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had made 235 arrests over this month in an effort to enforce coronavirus restrictions as the region continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases, officials said Wednesday.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his agency has patrolled and targeted underground parties.
“I have made it clear that we will seek out and take law enforcement action against all “Super-Spreader” events occurring anywhere within Los Angeles County,” Villanueva said in a news release.
Sheriff’s deputies also recovered several illegal firearms and rescued an “at-risk” juvenile, Villaneuva said.
During the month of December, 235 arrests were made, 7 illegal firearms were taken off the streets & 1 at-risk juvenile was rescued by @lasdhq personnel. I have made it clear that we will seek out & take law enforcement action against all "Super-Spreader" events in @CountyofLA pic.twitter.com/3s0dwvJnaL
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) December 31, 2020
The county has enacted some of the toughest restrictions in the state as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Currently, one in five Angelenos tested for the virus are positive, meaning there is 20% test positivity across L.A. County, Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a Wednesday press briefing.
So far the city has conducted 3.3 million COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic, according to Garcetti.
During the first weekend of December, the sheriff’s department busted an “underground” illicit “super-spreader” event that resulted in nearly 160 arrests at a vacant home in the Los Angeles suburb of Palmdale, authorities said on Tuesday.
Villanueva said the goal of the enforcement actions is “to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and risk to our vulnerable populations” and encouraged Angelinos “to notify your nearest Sheriff’s station if you have any information regarding ‘Super-Spreader’ level underground parties”.
The shefiff previously said he would direct deputies not to enforce Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order that has forced businesses to shutter all in-person dining. He said enforcement at businesses is the health department’s job, not his deputies.
“I want to stay away from businesses that are trying to comply the best they can,” Villanueva said.