SEATTLE-– Dope dealers call it “The Blade,” the section of downtown Seattle around 3rd avenue between Pike and Pine. This area plays host to an open-air drug market making it the number one crime location in the city’s core, according to Seattle Police.
Q13 FOX News anchor David Rose went with police on the first day of “Operation Crosstown Traffic,” a multi-jurisdictional collaborative and concerted effort by Seattle Police’s Major Crimes Task Force to clean up downtown. David Rose conducted several interviews with key Major Crimes Task Force members and obtained exclusive video of the operation which will air today on Q13 FOX News at 10p.
“Anybody who has ever had to wait for a bus there or take visitors to Pike Place Market knows that 1500 block of 3rd Avenue is a blight on Seattle. We watched as commuters and tourists shared the sidewalk with dealers, openly peddling dope and stolen goods. Police know they can’t arrest their way out of the problem and that it will also take a compassionate approach towards treating those willing to accept help but getting the most prolific and violent suspects in custody is a strong start to making all of us feel safer,” said Q13 FOX News anchor and Washington’s Most Wanted host David Rose.
“Operation Crosstown Traffic” was a three-month endeavor that began on January 28, 2015. The Major Crimes Task Force netted 148 suspects and made 177 “buys” and they are continuing to follow up on leads. This intensive operation not only targeted drug dealers, but offenders trafficking stolen property.
Detectives in the Major Crimes Task Force went undercover to buy heroin, meth, opiates and other hard drugs but they uncovered much more. They discovered that thieves were shoplifting from local retailers as well as stealing bicycles, then selling the stolen goods on the street and using the cash to purchase drugs, mainly heroin.
“Statistically, it’s our number one spot as far as crime goes in the downtown core. This operation was about going after criminals who were not just drug dealers but trafficking in stolen property. It was about cleaning up our city and making it a safe place,” said Major Crime Task Force Captain Eric Sano.