SECURE agents arrest suspected gang member

Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-15 21:12:43-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - The Utah Attorney General's SECURE Strike Force arrested a suspected gang member allegedly making an illegal handgun sale.

Julio Francisco Eugarrio, who goes by Kartoon, was arrested on Thursday after police say he'd been involved in the sale of firearms, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Eugarrio is a self-proclaimed 18th Street gang member who began his criminal career in Nevada before moving to Utah. He landed on the radar of the SECURE Strike Force in January.

"He's a convicted felon out of Las Vegas. Been convicted of discharging a firearm out of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon," said Leo Lucey with the SECURE Strike Force.

Agents set up some undercover transactions with Eugarrio, leading to a sting in a West Valley City parking lot on Thursday. Officers say they were able to find a handgun that Eugarrio was allegedly going to sell them, along with several rounds of ammunition and a small bag of marijuana.

Since 2009, the SECURE Strike Force has targeted illegal immigrants committing felony crimes, mainly in Utah's Latino community.

Eugarrio is in the United States legally, but SECURE agents say that while investigating crimes like fake document mills and human trafficking operations, they're seeing more cases like Eugarrio; suspected gang members allegedly involved in multiple aspects of criminal activity.

Eugarrio is currently in the Salt Lake County Jail. Agents say their plan is to make this a federal case under a statute that carries harsh penalties for being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.