700 alleged drug dealers arrested in San Francisco over 6 months

Hundreds of alleged drug dealers were arrested in San Francisco over six months as part of an operation by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to dismantle open-air drug markets.

The operation, concentrated in the Tenderloin and SOMA neighborhoods, has resulted in 700 arrests for alleged drug sales and 800 arrests for alleged public drug usage since May 3, according to the mayor's office.

The crackdown comes as the city continues to grapple with the scourge of dangerous drug use. There have been more fatal overdoses this year in San Francisco than any previous year, according to recent city statistics. 


Overdose deaths reach record level in San Francisco

San Francisco has surpassed the worst year on record for overdose deaths, San Francisco public health officials said Thursday.

Authorities confiscated 140 kilos of narcotics, including more than 80 kilos of fentanyl. These arrests and seizures follow the deployment of the National Guard and California Highway Patrol by Gov. Gavin Newsom to San Francisco, reinforcing the city's campaign against illicit drug sales and use.

"We are continuing to see progress as we seize an unprecedented amount of deadly fentanyl off our streets and hold dealers accountable," said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott. "We've nearly doubled the amount of narcotics seizures, as well as the number of drug dealer arrests, compared to last year."

Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the Tenderloin District, said in a statement "Our city has traded its only overdose prevention site for millions of dollars in police overtime to arrest drug users," Supervisor Preston said. "Predictably, this worn-out tactic has led to a record number of overdose deaths and only temporary displacement of harmful activity from block to block." 

In 2023 overall, San Francisco police have arrested over 900 alleged dealers in the Tenderloin and SOMA alone, doubling the number of arrests compared to the previous year.