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Charges filed against alleged heroin dealers

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) - Prosecutors have filed charges against several arrested last week in a major heroin bust.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Prosecutors have charged several involved in a large heroin operation in Utah.

Last week, 17-people were arrested. Police found 90-pounds of heroin and close to a million dollars in cash and seized 22-vehicles.
Police say it was Juan Lopez-Montes who masterminded the heroin operation.
He was renting a basement apartment where authorities found 3 pounds of heroin.

“We're in a battle with a well financed, well organized individuals that are making millions and millions of dollars in narcotics that they're selling to our community,” Sheriff Jim Winder told reporters last week.

Prosecutors charged Lopez-Montes and others with operating a criminal enterprise, money laundering and distribution of drugs. They also claim he was part of a Mexican drug cartel selling heroin in Utah and in other states.

The landlord where Lopez-Montes was living didn't want to talk for fear of retaliation.
But a neighbor thought something was up.

“Police have been up here a few times, sit here, sit there, sit over here on this corner and they sat and watched,” says John Gibson.

Few suspected an alleged heroin kingpin dealer was living amongst them.

“I’m glad they caught them,” says Dominic Plescia who lives on the same street. “I have a 4-year old daughter. I don't need that three houses down. That's pretty scary."

What troubles those who live here is it slipped through their neighborhood watch group.

“People are getting smarter in keeping things under wraps,” says Plescia.
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