SALT LAKE CITY – Authorities arrested 13 people Wednesday as part of operations targeting the distribution of methamphetamine and heroin in Utah by alleged gang members.
The arrests were part of a federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force targeting the La Raza gang and their associates.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, officials conducting searches seized about 10 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin, seven firearms, eight vehicles and about $175,000 in cash.
The individuals are charged in two indictments unsealed this week, and the charges include distribution of methamphetamine and heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, possession of methamphetamine and heroin with the intent to distribute and money laundering.
The first indictment names 30-year-old Juan Lazareno of Santa Clara and an individual identified as “FNU-LNU (first name unknown – last name unknown)”. The two are charged with distribution of methamphetamine. Lazareno appeared before a judge Wednesday and is being detained.
The second indictment names thirteen individuals. According to the release: “They are Wayne LeRoy Burr aka Miclo, age 30, of Draper; Samuel Covarrubias-Velazquez aka Pollo, age 36, of West Valley City; Javier Corrales, age 34, of Provo; Juan Reveles, age 35, of Richfield; David Miramontes, age 28, of West Valley City; Anthony Pedroza, age 26, of West Valley City; Carlos Tenengueno, age 24, of Sandy; Jose Munoz, age 26, of Salt Lake City; Beatriz Miramontes, age 56, of Richfield; Elisa Gallardo, age 27, of Draper; Guillermo Miramontes, age 22, of Salt Lake City; and William Reveles, age 34, of West Valley City. Alejandro Arciniega-Zetin, age 24, of Salt Lake City has not been arrested.”
The charges in the indictment include 25 drug trafficking counts and six money laundering counts. The individuals charged in this second indictment had initial court appearances Thursday in Salt Lake City. Elisa Gallardo was released following her initial appearance. Detention hearings for the others were underway Friday.
Officials stated in the release that indictments are not findings of guilt, and individuals charged are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court.
According to the press release: “Several local and state agencies contributed to the joint operation including the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, IRS Criminal Investigation, Salt Lake City, West Valley, Sandy, and West Jordan police departments, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Unified Police Department, the Metro Gang Unit, and the Utah Department of Public Safety. Several other agencies assisted in executing arrest and search warrants Wednesday in the Salt Lake metro area, Richfield, and St. George, including the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force, Utah and Sevier County Sheriffs’ Offices, St. George, Spanish Fork and Richfield police departments, the Utah Highway Patrol, the Washington County Drug Task Force, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.”