Feds launch 'All Hands on Deck' operation to crack down on SF drug dealers, fentanyl

ByJR Stone KGO logo
Friday, November 3, 2023
Feds launch new operation to crack down on SF drug dealers
In an attempt to crack down on San Francisco drug dealers, feds launch 'All Hands on Deck' operation to stop the distribution of fentanyl.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Street-level drug dealers arrested in San Francisco may face federal charges going forward, according to authorities.

It's part of what is being called the "All Hands on Deck" program and it's an effort to crack down on fentanyl distribution in San Francisco.

"You can stop dealing or you will face the consequence of your action," says DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian Clark.

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That's the message to street drug dealers in San Francisco's Tenderloin, and it is a message now coming from federal authorities who say those individuals could face federal charges.

"My office is using targeted wiretaps, arrests, and searches throughout the Bay Area to stem the flow of drugs and dealers coming into San Francisco from nearby counties," said Ismail Ramsey, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California.

The "All Hands on Deck" program involves police officers, deputies, CHP officers, DEA agents, and FBI agents who will continue to target the distribution of fentanyl in San Francisco.

"We aren't going anywhere and San Francisco is no longer the place where anything goes," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

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"We do have a war on fentanyl. It must be removed from our streets," said San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

On secret and select days once a week, the U.S. attorney's office will charge arrested street drug dealers with federal crimes and fast-track the cases where judgments are decided in less than three weeks. They'll also file charges against those suspected of dealing near federal buildings. Already the feds have brought charges against more than 30 people, with more than 40 others facing local charges.

Ramsey says in the last four months authorities have seized nearly 50 kilos of fentanyl and 12 kilos of meth off of Tenderloin streets. DEA officials put the blame on Mexican cartels who they say get their supplies from China and work with Honduran organizations.

"While the Sinaloa Cartel is primarily responsible for manufacturing fentanyl the drug trafficking in the Tenderloin is primarily controlled by Honduran organizations who commute into San Francisco to pedal their poison," said Clark.

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San Francisco's fentanyl epidemic continues to impact the city. Law enforcement says it's so difficult to convict drug dealers.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott with a clear message to drug dealers who attempt to avoid his officers going forward.

"So if you think you're going to outlast us, you're wrong. If you think you're going to adapt and outsmart us, you're wrong. If you think we're going to go away and let you continue to kill people in our city in record numbers, you're wrong."

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins says that her office has filed 300 motions to detain suspected drug dealers in jail while their case is open. The DA says only 30 of those were granted by local judges. Charging these suspected dealers with federal crimes keeps them in jail and pushes the cases forward right away.

Ramsey says they would prosecute all of the cases but they don't have the resources to do that.

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