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SF crackdown on drug markets leads to 34% increase in arrests so far this year

Twenty-eight people were charged with selling drugs in October – nearly half the number of all drug selling charges last year


AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File

By Joanna Putman

SAN FRANCISCO — A police crackdown on open-air drug deals in the Tenderloin and South of Market districts have led to record numbers of drug seizures and arrests, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Since May, increased undercover operations and surveillance by both local and federal agencies have caused a spike in the number of people arrested. According to the report, U.S. prosecutors in San Francisco have charged at least 89 people with selling drugs this year, up from nearly 60 in each of the past two years, including 28 in October.

In the Chronicle’s review of city data, it found that the SFPD had presented 34% more drug arrests by Oct. 19 than it does on an average year.

“[In past efforts to crack down,] the sweeps before have lasted a couple of weeks, maybe a month,” drug intelligence officer Marl Karandang said. “But this has been going on for the last four months. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to abate anytime soon.”

According to an ABC7 report, the increase in arrests has prompted the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office to reopen an annex at their San Bruno jail location.

“The challenge for us is that we have limited space with the two jails that we operate currently. The annex gives us the opportunity to open up some bed space for people,” said Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.