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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Joins With Special Agents In Charge Of FBI And DEA To Announce Law Enforcement Surge Combatting Nighttime Fentanyl Trafficking In The Tenderloin District Of San Francisco

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Law Enforcement Officials also Release Video Providing Update on “All Hands on Deck”

SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey joined with Special Agent in Charge Brian Clark of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to announce a surge in nighttime activities in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. The surge is in furtherance of “All Hands on Deck,” a law enforcement initiative to address endemic drug dealing in the area. The law enforcement officials also released a video regarding the surge that can be seen here.

In November of 2023, U.S. Attorney Ramsey convened a press conference and circulated a press release announcing the new joint initiative. The press conference was attended by numerous federal, state, and local officials and dignitaries all of whom pledged to contribute resources to All Hands on Deck. The initiative, designed to change the basic cost/benefit analysis for fentanyl dealers throughout the Northern District of California, included several programmatic elements including the following:

•    ramping up arrests of street dealers and suppliers of fentanyl who sell fentanyl near federal buildings (including near the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse at 7th and Mission Streets, the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building on 7th and Mission Streets, and the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse at 450 Golden Gate Avenue);
•    expanding efforts to track down and hold accountable suppliers of fentanyl;
•    bringing additional charges against persons operating money services operations who turn a blind eye to drug trafficking and money laundering transactions on their networks;
•    using targeted wiretaps, arrests, and searches throughout the Bay Area to enable drug seizures and to stem the flow of drugs and dealers coming into San Francisco from nearby counties;
•    conducting regular joint federal and SFPD “jump out” operations in the Tenderloin to make on-the-spot arrests for open-air drug dealing;
•    “fast-tracking” certain federal cases so that they take as little as a month from time of arrest to disposition; and
•    federal “adoption” of state cases to raise the stakes by holding drug dealers accountable in the federal system.

As part of today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Ramsey confirmed that “since November, we have announced numerous lengthy sentences handed down to drug dealers, extraditions of alleged drug dealers from Honduras, the prosecution of persons operating money services operations who had turned a blind eye to drug trafficking and money laundering transactions on their networks, and the federalizing and fast tracking of certain cases traditionally handled by local governments.”

In addition, Special Agent in Charge Clark stated that in recent weeks, law enforcement officials have “ramped up night operations.” “Federal agents are now being deployed to hold drug dealers accountable regardless of the time of day. Our presence makes it clear there is no time to be safe from law enforcement in our neighborhoods,” he said. The night operations have resulted, thus far, in more than 20 federal criminal complaints as well as the seizure of pounds of drugs (including more than 11 lbs. of fentanyl and more than 5 lbs. of methamphetamine) and over $20,000 in seized cash.

Referring to the unveiling of All Hands on Deck, Special Agent in Charge Tripp stated, “As we stated last November, our objective is to change the equation for drug dealers. 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.”

Since the inception of the initiative in November of 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged over 90 individuals for drug distribution activities in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. As of this week, over 70 of those cases have resulted in federal convictions.

Updated June 13, 2024