APD's Crack Crackdown

Operation C'Ya Later hits the Downtown streets

Austin's drug cops have had a busy couple of weeks busting downtown crack dealers and Honduran distributors. On Nov. 19, the APD announced that a two-month undercover drug investigation – catchily code-named Operation C'Ya Later – targeting two blocks of Neches Street between Fifth and Seventh, resulted in 25 street-level dealers being charged with 28 drug-related offenses. Most of the offenses are state jail felonies – but for 21 unlucky defendants those charges will be enhanced to third- or second-degree felonies because the drug deliveries took place within a designated Drug Free Zone. (Under Texas law, a DFZ is within 1,000 feet of a school, school district property, or youth center; or within 300 feet of a video arcade or public swimming pool.)

Op C'Ya Later was undertaken by APD, with assistance from the Travis Co. district attorney's office, at the behest of complaining downtown business owners. According to an APD press release, the department believes the undercover operation will "result in a decrease in criminal activity in this area," and the department vows to "remain vigilant in its effort to combat drug dealing."

Indeed, on Nov. 23, APD announced another major narco bust, resulting in the arrest of 17 Honduran citizens who the department alleges were involved in a complex drug ring. Police seized approximately 4 lbs. of pot, a pound of methamphetamine, 5 oz. of crack, and 8 grams of powdered cocaine. Additionally, APD officers arrested three people in connection with 148 lbs. of pot, just under 2 lbs. of cocaine, 2 grams of meth, plus a 9mm rifle, a .45-caliber pistol, and a sawed-off shotgun found in two apartments on Manor Road.

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