Law enforcement officials seized 41 pounds of methamphetamine during a recent sting in a Salt Lake City parking lot. The bust was part of a large-scale operation targeting drug traffickers in Utah, which has resulted in the seizure of over 300 pounds of meth in the past year.
Officials believe the drugs in the recent bust may have originated in Mexico before being trafficked into Utah along I-15 by a group with ties to Los Angeles. According to news reports, the drugs were likely smuggled into the country in car panels, and were sewn into the lining of two briefcases at the time of the bust. The drugs were worth millions at street value, according to law enforcement.
Drug arrests common along I-80 and I-15
Salt Lake City is considered a hotspot for drug trafficking because of the intersection of two interstate corridors, I-80 and I-15, which link the city to other parts of the country. Utah law enforcement maintains a steady lookout for signs of potential drug trafficking along these routes, and many drug busts in the Salt Lake City area begin as routine traffic stops.
While most traffic stops for routine traffic violations like speeding or expired registration result in nothing more than a citation or a warning, they can quickly escalate to arrest and serious criminal charges if an officer suspects that the driver may be transporting illegal drugs.
For instance, a police officer who stops a driver for a broken taillight may be tipped off if the driver seems unduly nervous, gives contradictory answers to an officer’s questions, or appears to be under the influence of drugs. In many cases, officers conducting traffic stops in Utah may also be accompanied by drug-sniffing dogs that are trained to “alert” to the presence of illegal drugs in the vehicle.
Seek legal help for drug charges in Utah
The penalties for drug possession and trafficking in Utah can be severe, including steep fines and lengthy prison sentences – even for a first offense, in many cases. The penalties can be even more severe depending on the circumstances of the offense, for instance in drug trafficking cases involving injury or death.
When facing charges for drug trafficking or other drug crimes in Utah, it is important to seek help from a well-versed criminal defense lawyer. An attorney with experience defending against drug charges in Utah will help ensure that a client’s rights are protected and will work vigorously on the client’s behalf to secure the best possible resolution to the charges.