The Papa John's Where 'Extra Olives' Allegedly Meant 'Cocaine, Please'
"The employee would bring the pizza out and in the box would be the cocaine," a police spokeswoman said.
Photo via Flickr user Arturo de Albornoz
Police in Washington arrested several people Friday for allegedly slinging cocaine out of pizza boxes in a Papa John's parking lot, local CBS affiliate KIRO 7 reports.
Authorities in Sammamish, a city just outside Seattle, got word that the local pizza joint was hooking up customers with coke about six months ago, and launched an undercover investigation they dubbed "Operation Extra Olives."
Detectives would drop by the Papa John's masking as customers looking for a fix, according to a King County Sheriff's office spokeswoman. Each time they ordered a pizza, they asked employees to "give it extra olives" and scored some drugs—kind of like the customers who got weed after asking for "extra crispy fries" at that Burger King in New Hampshire.
"What the detectives would do is they'd order pizza and go out and wait in the parking lot," King's County Sgt. Cindi West told CNN. "The employee would bring the pizza out and in the box would be the cocaine."
The months-long investigation came to a close on Friday, when officers executed several search warrants in Sammamish and neighboring Bellevue. Detectives raided the Papa John's and found the employees had stashed drugs in the cash register, sinks, and soap dispensers. Authorities recovered about $28,000 in cash, along with coke, ecstasy, weed, meth, acid, and Oxycodone, according to the sheriff's office. They made five arrests—including two Papa John's employees.
"You don't give it any thought, and you don't think like—Is my pizza going to be covered in cocaine today?" customer Victoria Edwards told KIRO 7.
She added that the bust wouldn't stop her from frequenting the pizza parlor, but she'll be carefully taste-testing the product from now on.
"I'm going to take a bite, and make sure I don't get any weird post-nasal drip, and I'll let the kids have some," Edwards said.
Authorities said the store's managers were "very cooperative" with the investigation, and had no clue that their pizza joint had basically been converted into a major drug operation.
"Papa John's has zero tolerance for this type of offensive and illegal behavior," a company spokesperson told CNN. "The franchisee has confirmed that the employees involved with this situation are no longer employed and we apologize for their actions."
Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.