Police arrest more than 50 near "Crack Alley" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police arrest more than 50 near "Crack Alley"

"Crack Alley" has apparently been a hotspot for drug dealers for years. This morning, police busted a handful of dealers there and elsewhere.

They're locked up tonight, busted in the undercover sting. But tonight, Action News 5 knows - from talking to people who work around Crack Alley - that police are just skimming the surface.

Skirting the edges of the Interpreting Service for the Deaf building is a fence that's been up for about four years. It's meant to keep out the drug dealers and homeless, terrorizing the apartments and offices along this stretch of Bellevue.

It's clearly not enough.

Randy Chappell knows it too well.

"We've got a lot of transient traffic out here," said Randy Chappell. "The apartments, there's a lot of apartments in the area. Sometimes I come in and they'll be somebody sleeping on the front. There's probably somebody sleeping on the back of our property as it is now."

Chappell's building sits along a back service road that has come to be known as crack alley. Crack Alley was the incidental target of a drug sweep that led to 52 indictments. The dealers sold the drugs to undercover cops. Now, the cops are cleaning up.

Dr. Ruth Parker is a dentist. Her office faces the alley. Her staff has been working to get more police attention here.

The arrests bring hope.

"My dental assistant had done the neighborhood watch thing and she was aware that the tennis shoes meant that there was drug activity," said Parker.

She and others hope the police come back.

The arrests have been made, but the tennis shoes are still hanging on a power line over crack alley. The sting that police ran here has been part of a special focus on getting crime out of small neighborhoods.

The organized crime unit had been working undercover - here and elsewhere - for six months.

Immediately after the under cover operation the Shelby County court returned nearly 120 indictments against 52 accused drug offenders, several of them, suspected gang members.

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