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Successful drug dealers in San Francisco can make as much as $350K a year, per a new report — more than the average senior software engineer at Google

Successful drug dealers in San Francisco can make as much as $350K a year, per a new report — more than the average senior software engineer at Google
  • Successful drug dealers can make $350,000 a year or more, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

  • The base pay for a senior software engineer at Google is around $211,000 or more.

  • City officials have struggled to find a viable solution to the rampant open-air drug market.

Successful drug dealers can make up to six figures in San Francisco, where city officials have been trying to crack down on rampant open-air drug markets in local neighborhoods, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

While low-level peddlers struggle to make ends meet, other more successful dealers can make up to $350,000 a year or more, according to the Chronicle, which conducted an 18-month investigation into the drug trade in the Bay Area.

By comparison, Google senior software engineers based in SF, the world's tech hub, make about $211,000 as their base salary, not including stock options and bonuses, according to data from Glassdoor and, a tech salary database.


The money has become an attractive albeit dangerous calling card for some Honduran migrants who hope to flee poverty and violence in their home villages. According to the Chronicle, Honduran migrants — mostly from Siria Valley, north of Honduras' capital Tegucigalpa — dominate the open-air drug trade prevalent in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods.

Most Honudurans who come to the Bay Area or the US find legal work. A study analyzing arrest data from the Texas Department of Public Safety found that undocumented immigrants in general had lower crime rates than native-born citizens and legal immigrants when looking at felony offenses.

Some Honduran dealers interviewed by the Chronicle said they performed legal work before turning to the drug trade, while others came to the Bay Area specifically to sell drugs. Most dealers interviewed by the newspaper said that the lack of paperwork and education bars them from securing a high-paying job in the US.

And while it's common for migrants, performing legal work or not, to send remittances back to their families, the money made from drug dealing has allowed for a real estate boom in the villages of Siria Valley, where new homes and mansions have popped up, the Chronicle reported.

"There's no other option for them to make a house in that way if it wasn't for selling drugs in the United States," local Siria Valley resident Ofelia Raudales Carela, told the Chronicle.

San Francisco has struggled with illegal drugs in its neighborhoods for decades. The city has previously tried to use more policing and arrests, but the approach has been ineffective, according to the Chronicle.

Now, city and state officials are vowing again to crack down on the open-air drug market that plagues neighborhoods by increasing enforcement and providing treatment options.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Thursday that the local police department has "doubled the arrests for drug dealing" in the two neighborhoods in the past two weeks. More than 9.5 kilos of fentanyl were seized in that period, she said.

Spokespersons for Google and the San Francisco Police Department did not respond to a request for comment sent outside of business hours.

Read the original article on Insider