Just when you thought the Tenderloin was a drug free-for-all that law enforcement had given up on... Nine defendants ranging in age from 25 to 63 have been brought up on federal charges for selling crack, coke, and methamphetamine based on purchases made by undercover federal agents between December 2009 and August 2010. The indictments were issued over the last few months, and represent a collaborative undercover operation by the San Francisco Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Service Unit. The charges carry possible sentences of five to forty years.

This was one of Gascon's big initiatives while he was Chief of Police, you see. Cleaning up the Tenderloin. One presumes that the nine people indicted represent kingpins of some kind? Some of the larger drug operations in the neighborhood, and not just random assholes who work the corners? All of the busts involved quantities over five grams, that's all we know. But then this just makes us think about The Wire, and how futile this all seems -- a hugely expensive, time-consuming, and bureaucratic effort to prosecute a handful of people when another handful have probably already moved in to replace them. (As Dina Hilliard of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District says to the Ex, "You could definitely see an improvement on the ground at the time [of the busts], but that’s not what we see now.") But anyway! That's the day's big drug bust news.

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