SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Hold more drug dealers accountable. That’s the demand in a recent letter sent to San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin from Humboldt County Leaders. They say fentanyl sold on the streets of San Francisco is killing our neighbors up north.
A recent attempt to keep drug dealers away from the city’s most embattled neighborhood has failed in a California court.
Humboldt County leaders are insisting Boudin step in and aggressively prosecute people caught selling drugs that they say are killing people along the California coast.
“It feels like we’ve paved the highway between San Francisco and Eureka with fentanyl,” Virgina Bass Humboldt’s County District 4 board supervisor said.
The lethal drug sold in San Francisco is making it’s way up north where more people are dying by accidental overdose.
In the last ten years that Sheriff William Honsel has served Humboldt County, he says fentanyl has never before taken so many lives or focus from law enforcement.
“We’re not worried about heroin anymore, or Methamphetamine, it is fentanyl,” Honsel says. “Because fentanyl is killing our local residents.”
A worry echoed by San Francisco Mayor London Breed who recently declared a state of emergency and backed the former city attorney’s attempt to prevent drug dealers from doing business on the Tenderloin’s street corners.
But this month a California judge ruled against the 2020 effort to ban four suspected drug dealers from entering the neighborhood.
Tired of feeling helpless, Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors penned a letter to the person they believe can make a difference, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
The letter reads in part:
“You have the ability to continue this effort by prosecuting all cases that are brought to your office and make sure the dealers around the state understand that they are not welcome into your county any longer. It is imperative that your office focus on this emergency and work with neighboring counties in order to establish both a short-term and long-term solution to this fentanyl crisis. The County of Humboldt refuses to sit idle while this drug pours into our county from the Tenderloin. If we cannot reach a mutually acceptable solution shortly, we will have no options but to seek a legal remedy.”
“It’s just become a very frustrating thing and feels like there’s no way no way out,” Bass said. “You know, I think that’s one of the reasons we decided to send the letter and support actually Mayor Breed with their state of emergency because I think it really reflects our own state of emergency that we’re experiencing that’s connected.”
According to the SFDA’s office report, narcotics prosecutions rates have steadily declined since he took office.
While Boudin recognized in an interview this month with KRON4 that fatal overdoses across the country are up, he said he prefers a treatment approach.
“And look law enforcement has limited tools, I what I can do primarily is I can prosecute the drug dealers that police arrest,” he said. “But in San Francisco right now, police are making arrests city-wide at about two drug sales cases per day.”
Honsel said he’s been in touch with local law enforcement who are deflated by Boudin’s low prosecution rate.
Meantime Humboldt County law enforcement be reaching for life saving nasal spray Narcan to try and keep people alive while they await a response.
Bass is inviting Boudin to come up and see for himself the irreversible impact that drug dealing here in San Francisco is having on her hometown.
KRON4 reached out to Boudin’s office for comment on the letter and have not heard back.