Where do drug deals go down?

By Kim Fischer

Published 11/19 2012 10:38AM

Updated 11/20 2012 09:35AM

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Months of research and thousands of documents went into tracking drug arrests in the valley.

Those drug deals bring violent crimes right into your neighborhood.

“My experience as a homicide investigator is that the majority of homicides have some drug connection,” said Detective Mike Hamidaeh with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Those drug deals bring violent crime right to your front door.

“It’s terrible. In my opinion it’s terrible,” said Salt Lake City resident Jorge Martinez.

“I’m not very pleased about it,” said another Salt Lake City resident Nolan Hee.

So, ABC 4 News wanted to find our where it’s actually happening.

So with the help of Crimereports.com, created by the company Public Engines, we mapped out all the drug arrests in Salt Lake County in the last 6 months.

“We’re able to publish a real time snap shot of what's happening in their communities,” said Richard Payne with Public Engines.

It's a lot of information and a lot of work. Utah state law allows people to request public records of crimes but Crimereports.com does it for you.

“We receive million of pieces of information every day,” said Payne.

This data helped ABC 4 News break down which zip codes have high arrest ratios for drugs.

“The first step in preventing crime is to be aware of what's happening in your community,” said Payne.

Two zip codes in the valley came in as the best. 84047 had 1 drug arrest per 14,169 people who live there. But the lowest ratio zip was 84092, which only had 1 arrest per  15,000 people.

Police told ABC 4 News that statistics help them fight crime.

“The Police Department is driven by information. The more precise the information the more proficient we can deal with whatever the issue is,” said Hamideh.

Which zip codes have the highest ratios of drug arrests? It's the zip codes where Jorge Martinez and Nolan Hee live.

“Every day and every night,” said Martinez when describing how often he sees suspicious activity.

“It looks like a sketchy deal,” said Hee when describing his neighborhood.

According to the public records collected by Crimereports.com, 84101 and 84103 are the worst.

Remember the ratios of the best zip codes?

Well, 84103 has one drug arrest for every 44 people who live there and 84101 came in at 1 per 11.

Both a far cry from 1 in 15 thousand.

“When you look at the quality of life living next to something like that would give. It really reduces the quality of life,” said Hamideh.

Salt Lake City Police told ABC 4 News there are many reasons for high arrests in certain areas. A couple of those reasons are it depends on traffic and if they've been doing more enforcement.

“One of the tactics we'll use is sending undercovers to the area to explore and see if there are in fact problems,” said Hamideh.

Police say be aware of what's happening on your street and call them before a drug problem turns into a violent crime.

“It's generally going to get worse than better if you don't call,” said Hamideh.

But some like Nolan Hee are looking for other options.

“As soon as our lease is up were going to be looking for some place else. We've actually started looking,” said Hee.

One last point of interest, police told ABC 4 News that in some zip codes where there are less drug transactions, the quantities of drugs found during an arrest are usually more.

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