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Operation Rio Grande

Breaking Up Narcotic Operations in the Rio Grande District

Tuesday November 14, 2017

For the past 14 weeks, the Department of Public Safety’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) agents have been working diligently to break up the vast drug networks that are preying on a vulnerable population in our state. Suppression operations, search warrants and daily police work have resulted in 126 distribution arrests and more than eight search warrants.

In November, SBI agents served two search warrants in Salt Lake City and West Valley City with direct ties to the Rio Grande District. The two warrants resulted in the arrest of 6 foreign nationals, including five known Hondoran narcotic dealers.

“This is a great example of how intelligence and diligent police work by DPS agents are disrupting drug dealers and their operations,” said Commissioner Keith Squires of the Department of Public Safety. “One by one, these arrests are removing dangerous criminals operating in our communities.”

A common misconception since the beginning of Operation Rio Grande is that officers are only arresting users. “Some users are being arrested, but it’s because they are committing crimes,” said Lt. Jared Garcia with the State Bureau of Investigation. “Users are not our target. We are targeting individuals who are selling narcotics and impacting the people who are here seeking services.”

With the help of local police agencies, SBI is going after narcotic operations across the Wasatch Front. From Ogden to West Valley City and neighborhoods within Salt Lake City, SBI is proactively chasing the criminal element alongside law enforcement partners.

As of November 12, 2017, there have been 2,033 jail booked arrests, including 1,021 drug-related arrests. The Department of Public Safety is committed to serving the Rio Grande District alongside Salt Lake City Police Department through June 2019.

Video produced by: Chris Averett


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