Lawsuits filed against two businesses in SF

January 30, 2012 12:30:50 PM PST
San Francisco's police chief and city attorney are taking a drastic and unusual step this morning -- hoping to reverse a worsening drug and crime problem in the Tenderloin. The city attorney's office has filed lawsuits against Barah Market at 200 Leavenworth Street, and Razan Deli, at 391 Ellis Street.

After two years of undercover operations by the SFPD, the businesses are accused of being host businesses for illegal activities which include drug sales and the fencing of stolen goods.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and City Attorney Dennis Herrera made the announcement in a news conference this morning.

"99 percent of those businesses refused and/or threatened to call the police for even being asked to participate in what these two businesses were doing - host sales every single day," said Chief Suhr.

"These are challenging economic times, specifically for kids, for seniors and we owe it to them to make sure that we are creating an environment that people can thrive and be the very best that we can be," said Herrera.

The civil lawsuits allege violations of the California Drug Abatement Act and other state and local laws.

The penalties could include closing down the businesses for one year and fines. Criminal charges and arrests could also follow.