SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera settles with crack pipe-selling smoke shops 

City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s campaign against a handful of smoke shops selling crack and meth pipes ended today with a settlement prohibiting the practice and securing penalties from the violators, his office announced.

In February, Herrera sued six shops in The City’s Excelsior and Outer Mission neighborhoods that he said were a public nuisance, selling illegal drug paraphernalia intended for users and dealers of cocaine, crack and methamphetamine, including pipes, scales and drug cutting agents.

Herrera said the shops ignored warnings from police to stop the sales, which had allegedly attracted bad elements to the neighborhoods to frequent the stores, some of which were near schools and playgrounds.

The shops were “profiting illegally from a drug trade that devastates human lives, and puts enormous burdens on our police and public health services,” Herrera said in a statement Tuesday. He thanked police and community members for working to address the issue.

The stores – Mission Gifts and Tobacco at 4784 Mission St., Rock On at 4447 Mission St., The Platinum at 5901 Mission St., House of Cigarettes at 912 Geneva Ave., and Tobacco Plaza Center Smoke and Gift Shop at 3008 16th St. – were barred from continuing to sell the items and ordered to surrender them to the police.

Other orders included keeping store windows and doors clear to allow police to view the store from the outside; and confining “legal drug paraphernalia” to areas where minors could be excluded, or banning minors from the store entirely, according to Herrera’s office. The stores will also be subject to unannounced inspections and searches.

Two of the stores that ignored multiple warnings from police and the City Attorney’s Office were also fined $11,000; the four other stores received $5,000 in fines, the City Attorney’s Office said.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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