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Utah DEA "decimates" local Mexican drug cartel cell

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) -- DEA agents in Utah arrested a total of 30 people in a series of raids that culminated Tuesday and wrapped up an 18-month long investigation into the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel. Seized were: 30 pounds of methamphetamine, 200 pounds of marijuana, one kilo of cocaine, one kilo of heroin and 322 thousand dollars in US currency along with various weapons including an assault rifle.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - DEA agents in Utah arrested a total of 30 people in a series of raids that culminated Tuesday and wrapped up an 18-month long investigation into the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel. Seized were: 30 pounds of methamphetamine, 200 pounds of marijuana, one kilo of cocaine, one kilo of heroin and 322 thousand dollars in US currency along with various weapons including an assault rifle.

The catalyst for agents was the arrest of an unnamed, high level cartel member who was intercepted on the interstate in southern Utah with a vehicle load of meth. Authorities believe it was destined for Utah streets. Also picked up in this week's raids was the owner of Mi Rancherito restaurant on 3600 S. State St. He's believed to have connections to the cartel, although agents say he was not selling drugs out of the restaurant.

The DEA's Frank Smith tells ABC 4 News, "It's really not about the drugs it's about the individuals that we arrest. When you can arrest the commander and control of any cartel, that's hard to replace. Drugs are easy to replace."

Agents expect to make more arrests in the coming weeks and months. Some they say will be connected to marijuana grow operations recently broken up in South Utah on federal land.


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