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Three arrested in Park City drug bust

PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A major methamphetamine bust in Park City has ties to a Mexican drug cartel.
PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A major methamphetamine bust in Park City has ties to a Mexican drug cartel.

After a three month investigation, multiple law enforcement agencies were able to make the bust over the weekend. Three people, both American and Mexican nationals, were arrested and the distributor has ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.

"We have a couple of the key players here that we hope that we send a devastating blow to their infrastructure,” said Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter.

Law enforcement says those key players responsible for trafficking methamphetamine into Utah are 29-year old Julio Perez-Vargas, 29-year old Francisco Romero-Barajas and 28-year-old Vanessa Barron-Ballardo.

Law enforcement says both Davis County, Park City and Summit County were facing some of the same drug trafficking issues and worked together to make the bust.

“From that point on we began our investigation that involved writing warrants for the telephone networks in order to further the investigation,” said Sgt. Brady Fitzpatrick, the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force.   

During the bust, authorities seized more than seventeen pounds of methamphetamine, $17,000 in cash and an SUV. Both Vargas and Barajas face federal charges and up to ten years in prison.

As for Vanessa Ballardo she faces state charges which include the distribution of a controlled substance and child endangerment after authorities found a pound of methamphetamine hidden in a diaper bag.

Now, nearby residents tell ABC 4 Utah they're concerned.

“It's pretty scary actually. I have a daughter In the local schools here and just to think there's that type of drug action happening here in Park City is pretty scary,” Shelley Marshall a Park City resident.

We do not want this poison in our community, we do not want the accompanying problems that are derived from the distribution of this poison and any would be distributors need to understand we're going to come after you, very powerfully, said Sheriff David Edmunds of the Summit County Sheriff’s office.

The investigation is ongoing, but authorities tell us this bust will likely lead to more arrests.

 

 

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