The Weed and Seed program was created during the administration of President George H. W. Bush to fight urban drug abuse. It continues more than a decade later. The latest Weed and Seed operation is in Phoenix, where the Arizona Republic says that police “swept into a center-city barrio” yesterday to nab “drug dealers accused of dragging the area into crime and blight.”
Sgt. Randy Force said the raids were prompted by area residents who wanted the drug dealers kicked out. “We weed out the criminal element,” Force said. “That gives the good residents an opportunity to seed a better life for themselves.”
The Republic says that the “show of force provided late-afternoon entertainment for families who watched police cordon an eight-block area dominated by gangs. Sullen young men declined comment while police removed items from four homes in the area, but other neighbors seemed to welcome the officers.”
Maria Tirado, 34, said narcotics are sold in a back alley 24 hours a day. Prostitution and other crimes are also common. “Guys pull over with ladies, and we see condoms in the parking lot all the time. … We’re glad (about the raids). There’s a lot of robberies, too,” Tirado said.
Undercover officers spent 10 months on the case before obtaining grand jury indictments against 11 suspects for distribution of crack cocaine and marijuana in the neighborhood.