This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
After four years, strike force agents finally nabbed a man they suspect dealt methamphetamine for a Mexican drug cartel.
The 37-year-old man was charged Friday in 2nd District Court with distributing or arranging to distribute a controlled substance. If convicted, he could face one to 15 years in prison.
The charge comes the day after the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force agents and the FBI teamed up to arrest him at a meet-up with Utah distributors in Tremonton. Agents report finding about four pounds of methamphetamine in his vehicle when they caught him in the Box Elder County city.
This is not the first run-in between him and the strike force. Agents served a search warrant on his Roy home in July 2008, where they seized one pound of methamphetamine and a firearm, according to a news release. He was federally indicted, but fled to Mexico, the release adds.
The strike force eventually learned he had come back and re-established his methamphetamine distribution operation in the area of Boise, Idaho, supplying the drugs to Idaho and northern Utah once they were smuggled in from Mexico, according to the release. Lt. Troy Burnett, commander of the strike force, added that he received the drugs from the Sinaloa cartel.
The strike force and the FBI teamed up and, after an extensive investigation, learned the man planned to meet his distributors in Tremonton on Thursday to hand over a large quantity of methamphetamine, according to the release. But on Thursday, he showed up and instead found a team of agents waiting for him. The man was taken into custody, and investigators found more than four pounds of methamphetamine, with a street value of $100,000, in his vehicle, the release adds.
He was booked into the Weber County jail on a federal warrant stemming from the 2008 raid. Law enforcement will also seek federal charges from the bust on Thursday.
The man's distributors were based in Ogden and in turn supplied drugs to Weber and Davis counties, Burnett said.
The seizure of those drugs will have a significant effect on methamphetamine sales in northern Utah, according to the strike force. But the reprieve will be a short lived one, the release adds.