Operation ‘Extra Olives’ leads to 5 arrests of pizza joint employees accused of selling cocaine

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — Five people have been arrested after a six-month investigation revealed suspects were using and selling cocaine at a Papa John’s Pizza while working there, the King County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

In December 2016, the sheriff’s office said, the Sammamish police received information that employees at a Papa John’s Pizza in Sammamish were selling cocaine in the parking lot of the business. Undercover detectives were sent into the pizza joint and were able to buy drugs from two different employees, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said one of the employees introduced undercover detectives to other drug dealers in Sammamish and Bellevue, and they were to buy drugs from them, too.

On Friday morning, detectives from the Sammamish Police Department, Bellevue Police Department and the county sheriff’s office conducted search and seizure raids at locations in Bellevue and Sammamish, including the Papa John’s in Sammamish.

The sheriff’s office said they recovered $28,000 in cash, a vehicle and drugs that included cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, Oxycodone, LSD and methamphetamine.

Two men ages 26 and 21 were arrested in Bellevue, and two men ages 18 and 19 were arrested in Sammamish. An outstanding 18-year-old suspect turned himself in to Sammamish police later in the day, the sheriff’s office said.

Papa John’s Pizza issued the following statement in response to this report:

“Papa John’s has zero tolerance for this type of offensive and illegal behavior. The franchisee has confirmed that the employees involved with this situation are no longer employed and we apologize for their actions. The franchisee is working in full cooperation with local law enforcement to resolve this matter.  Furthermore, food safety and sanitation is of the utmost importance to Papa John’s.  The franchisee took immediate action steps, with Health Department oversight, and the location was cleared to reopen.”