Deputies: California man posed as homeless advocate to sell drugs

LOS ANGELES — A California man who describes himself as a homeless advocate is accused of selling drugs to transients in the Venice area of Los Angeles, authorities said.

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Garry Featherstone, 65, was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of phencyclidine (PCP) for sale and possession of methamphetamine for sale, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies also recovered more than $15,000, the release stated.

According to the sheriff’s department, Featherstone had disguised himself as a homeless outreach advocate and was using a tent to operate “Homeless Enterprise,” KTLA reported. Featherstone was selling beverages, candy and other snacks to homeless people, the television station reported.

The tent was located near the Venice Bridge Home, according to KTLA.

The facility is a temporary shelter that provides services and opened in February 2020, KABC reported.

Investigators with the sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau saw Featherstone conduct several “hand-to-hand narcotics transactions,” according to the sheriff’s department’s news release.

Investigators used the evidence from surveillance videos to arrest Featherstone.

“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,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement. “It’s time for common sense, compassionate regulation of public space. It’s time for politicians to stop using the homeless population as a platform and for them to either help law enforcement keep the community safe or get out of the way.”

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