Police say hundreds of illegal marijuana shops operate in LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles has issued licenses to nearly 100 marijuana retailers, but police estimate two to three times that number are operating illegally in the city.

Capt. Stephen Carmona said Wednesday that police have shut down eight illegal marijuana shops since Jan. 1. He says 35 people were arrested, including four people taken into custody during a raid last week.

Carmona says most of the illegal shops were operating in plain sight — out of storefronts in busy neighborhoods.

Deputy Police Chief John Sherman said the investigations are often lengthy and require extensive field work before search warrants can be executed.

He says the pace is unlikely to intensify because the department is focused on curbing violent crimes.