Pepperoni, olives, peppers, cocaine, marijuana, ecstacy.
For a group of entrepreneurial King County men, detectives say it was all in a day’s work.
King County sheriff’s deputies and Sammamish police broke up a drug ring run out of a Sammamish Papa John’s pizza restaurant, the Sheriff’s Office announced in a news release Friday afternoon.
Detectives dubbed it “Operation Extra Olives.”
Two employees were using the parking lot of the pizzeria in the 700 block of 228th Avenue Northeast for cocaine deals, Sgt. Cindi West wrote in a news release.
Detectives conducted four undercover drug buys there.
One of the dealers introduced the detectives to three other drug dealers in the area, West wrote, who detectives were able to also buy from.
Deputies conducted search warrants Friday morning in Sammamish and Bellevue, recovering $28,000 in cash, a vehicle, and cocaine, ecstacy, marijuana, oxycodone, LSD and methamphetamine.
Five men were arrested: a 21-year-old and 26-year-old from Bellevue, and two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old from Sammamish.
“Papa John’s has zero tolerance for this type of offensive and illegal behavior,” chain spokesman Peter Collins said in a statement. “The franchisee has confirmed that the employees involved with this situation are no longer employed and we apologize for their actions.”
Detectives searching the pizzeria found cocaine on various surfaces throughout the restaurant, West wrote, including the cash register and the hand-washing area.
King County health inspectors found no traces of cocaine in the restaurant later in the day.
“The franchisee took immediate action steps, with Health Department oversight, and the location was cleared to reopen,” Collins said.