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Over 220 pounds of drugs seized in 3 months in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, SoMa neighborhoods

A woman removes drugs from a baggie on the street.
A woman removes drugs from a baggie in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco. | Source: Benjamin Fanjoy for The Standard

San Francisco and state law enforcement agencies have seized over 220 pounds of narcotics in the Tenderloin and South of Market districts over the last three months, including more than 123 pounds of fentanyl, as part of the city's efforts to shut down open-air drug markets.

San Francisco law enforcement agencies have been working since May 30 with state and federal partners to focus on drug enforcement in the Tenderloin and SoMa areas.

Over the same period, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office has also seen an uptick in felony narcotics cases, the city said in a news release.

"Shutting down open-air drug markets is critical to the safety of our neighborhoods and the overall health of our city," Mayor London Breed said in a statement. "We will continue to offer help to people in crisis, but we must hold people accountable who are hurting our communities."

Citywide, San Francisco police officers have seized over 297 pounds of narcotics, including over 196 pounds of fentanyl, more than all of last year's drug seizures combined. More than 300 dealers have been arrested in the last three months.

Officers have also arrested 123 wanted fugitives in the Tenderloin and South of Market during the same time period, the city said.

In addition, the California Highway Patrol has made 100 drug arrests in the city, seizing 86 pounds of narcotics, including 40 pounds of fentanyl.

San Francisco has been included in Operation Overdrive, a federal initiative under the Department of Justice that deploys federal law enforcement resources to help local and state authorities identify and dismantle criminal drug networks.

As a result of this operation, the District Attorney's Office has seen an upward trend in the number of felony narcotics cases presented and filed. Through Aug. 23 of this year, 656 felony narcotics cases were presented, of which 566 were filed, an 86% filing rate, the highest in at least five years.

Police have made over 450 arrests under public intoxication laws for public drug use. People "sometimes need the threat of jail time to compel them to remain in programs that successfully address the root causes of addiction," Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said in a statement Friday.