Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 14, 2024
Federal "All Hands on Deck" Initiative Cracks Down on Fentanyl Trafficking in San Francisco's Tenderloin DistrictSource: Google Street View

The Tenderloin District of San Francisco is seeing a so-called "law enforcement surge" as federal agents target nighttime fentanyl trafficking in the area. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey, along FBI and DEA special agents, announced intensified efforts to combat drug distribution under the "All Hands on Deck" initiative. This includes a significant ramp-up in night operations, wiretaps, and fast-tracking of federal cases.

Since its inception in November 2023, the initiative has yielded over 90 charges of drug distribution in the Tenderloin. The neighborhood, notorious for its open-air drug market, has seen the arrest of street dealers and the stepping up of coordinated joint task force 'jump out' operations. Announcing the federal push to the neighborhoods, U.S. Attorney Ramsey confirmed that lengthy sentences have been handed down and more than 70 of those cases have already led to federal convictions, effectively placing a heightened threat to the illicit trade that blankets the district.

In a new twist, federal buildings such as the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse and the Phillip Burton Federal Building are the focus of expanded operations to cut down the easy distribution of fentanyl. Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp of the FBI was quoted per the U.S. Attorney’s Office, "As the consequences of choosing to supply drugs in the Tenderloin become more severe, dealers and suppliers are going to have to reassess their risk. Is it worth it? We aim to show the answer is no." The recent operations have resulted in not just arrests but also the seizure of over 11 pounds of fentanyl and significant amounts of cash.

The crackdown also includes the extradition of alleged drug dealers from abroad and charges against those involved in laundering drug proceeds. With the DEA's aid, the nighttime streets of the Tenderloin, Special Agent in Charge Clark declared, are now under the domain of vigilant law enforcement, and as of late, over 20 federal criminal complaints have been filed along with the seizure of drugs and cash totaling over $20,000. "Our presence makes it clear there is no time to be safe from law enforcement in our neighborhoods," stated Clark, as cited by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The multi-agency teamwork seems to signal a relentless pursuit of those fueling the district's drug woes.