Drug dealers not from The City

An overwhelming number of alleged drug dealers arrested during a recent six-day sweep of San Francisco came from out of town, police said.

From Monday through Saturday last week, undercover officers performed so-called buy-and-bust operations, posing as drug users buying heroin, crack cocaine, methamphetamines and other illegal drugs from street dealers primarily in the Tenderloin, Mission district and the Market Street area.

Of the 103 suspected sellers arrested by police, only 39 listed San Francisco addresses as their residence. The rest were either from out of town or gave no local addresses, Capt. Kevin Cashman with the Investigations Bureau said. The majority of the out-of-towners, he added, came from the East Bay. Cashman said the recent sweep was the latest in citywide police operations cracking down on the drug trade and violence plaguing The City’s streets.

“The street dealers are responsible for a lot of the spontaneous street violence, which could stem from someone fighting over turf or someone robbing … drugs to support their habit,” Cashman said.

Crack cocaine was the drug of choice among the alleged dealers: 51 of the arrested sold the diluted form of cocaine; 18 of the suspected sellers were on felony probation for similar offenses; 47 of the busts were in the Tenderloin and SoMa areas.

“The bottom line is that we have far too many people involved in the open market of drug sales in the Tenderloin,” said District Attorney Kamala Harris, who added that police performed a similar crackdown in July as well as a Western Addition crackdown last spring.

Approximately 30 officers engaged in theoperation, making arrests day and night.

“These [alleged drug dealers] are out there all the time,” said Sgt. Neville Gittens, spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department.

bliou@examiner.com

dsmith@examiner.com

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