SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera at market lawsuit presser
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SAN FRANCISCO —
A market in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood targeted in a lawsuit by City Attorney Dennis Herrera for alleged drug activity and other crimes has been ordered closed for a year by a judge.
Razan Deli, located at 391 Ellis St., was one of two markets named in lawsuits filed Jan. 30 by Herrera, who alleged that the businesses served as a "safe haven" for the sale of drugs, and also bought and resold stolen merchandise.
The suit against Razan Deli stated that undercover police officers frequently bought drugs in or around the market, and also sold merchandise they claimed was stolen from nearby Walgreens stores to market employees.
The market was the site of 118 calls for police service in 2011 alone, according to the city attorney's office.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn on Monday ordered Razan Deli closed for a year, starting April 1. Kahn also ordered the market's owners to pay $80,000 in civil penalties to the city and turn over any controlled substances or drug paraphernalia on the premises.
The defendants, including owner Walid Abdelrahman, agreed to the injunction without admitting to any of the allegations in the case. The attorney for the market, Taghi Astanehe, declined further comment.
Herrera said in a statement, "Razan Deli has been a magnet for drug-related nuisances for too long, and I'm grateful to secure a court order that gives this neighborhood and its residents a measure of relief."
The case involving the second market named by Herrera's office in the Jan. 30 lawsuits, Barah Market, located at 200 Leavenworth St., remains ongoing.
Herrera made similar allegations of drug and stolen merchandise purchases at Barah Market, also known as Azaal Market, but employees there have denied any wrongdoing.
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