Gang Involvement in "Rock" Cocaine Trafficking in Los Angeles, 1984-1985 (ICPSR 9398)

Published: Mar 30, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Malcolm W. Klein, University of Southern California; Cheryl L. Maxson, University of Southern California

Version V1

The purpose of this data collection was to investigate the possible increase in gang involvement within cocaine and "rock" cocaine trafficking. Investigators also examined the relationships among gangs, cocaine trafficking, and increasing levels of violence. They attempted to determine the effects of increased gang involvement in cocaine distribution in terms of the location of an incident, the demographic profiles of suspects, and the level of firearm use. They also looked at issues such as whether the connection between gangs and cocaine trafficking yielded more drug-related violence, how the connection between gangs and cocaine trafficking affected police investigative processes such as intra-organizational communication and the use of special enforcement technologies, what kinds of working relationships were established between narcotics units and gang control units, and what the characteristics were of the rock trafficking and rock house technologies of the dealers. Part 1 (Sales Arrest Incident Data File) contains data for the cocaine sales arrest incidents. Part 2 (Single Incident Participant Data File) contains data for participants of the cocaine sales arrest incidents. Part 3 (Single Incident Participant Prior Arrest Data File) contains data for the prior arrests of the participants in the cocaine arrest incidents. Part 4 (Multiple Event Incident Data File) contains data for multiple event incidents. Part 5 (Multiple Event Arrest Incident Data File) contains data for arrest events in the multiple event incidents. Part 6 (Multiple Event Incident Participant Data File) contains data for the participants of the arrest events. Part 7 (Multiple Event Incident Prior Arrest Data File) contains data for the prior arrest history of the multiple event participants. Part 8 (Homicide Incident Data File) contains data for homicide incidents. Part 9 (Homicide Incident Suspect/Victim Data File) contains data for the suspects and victims of the homicide incidents. Major variables characterizing the various units of observation include evidence of gang involvement, presence of drugs, presence of a rock house, presence of firearms or other weapons, presence of violence, amount of cash taken as evidence, prior arrests, and law enforcement techniques.

Klein, Malcolm W., and Maxson, Cheryl L. Gang Involvement in “Rock” Cocaine Trafficking in Los Angeles, 1984-1985. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (85-IJ-CX-0057)

1984 -- 1985

1986 -- 1987

The codebook is provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

All arrests of gang members for homicide and for sale of cocaine or possession for sale were included in the sample. An equal number of nongang cases was selected randomly in proportion to each station's contribution to the total number of nongang arrests for each year. Nongang cocaine cases were oversampled.

Cases were selected from arrest logs in the five police stations in two jurisdictions of Los Angeles County. The two jurisdictions were not selected to be representative of any geographic area. Instead, the investigators sought to capture the phenomena of interest at their highest points of concentration.

police investigation files for cocaine sales and homicide incidents

event/transaction data, and administrative data



2006-03-30 File CB9398.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

2002-03-29 The original hardcopy documentation for this data collection was converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), and SAS and SPSS data definition statements were created for each of the nine parts.

1991-10-23 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.


  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.