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Major Utah Drug Bust Yields 56 lbs of Meth from Mexico

May 22, 2012

Meth bust may be biggest in Utah's history

By Erin Alberty

The Salt Lake Tribune

May 22, 2012

Federal agents seized more than 56 pounds of methamphetamine Sunday night in what investigators believe is the largest meth bust in Utah's history.

The drugs were found about 10 p.m. Sunday in a car in Salt Lake County as part of a yearlong investigation of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, said Sue Thomas, spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Agency.

At 97 to 100 percent pure — "phenomenal" quality, Thomas said — the meth had a wholesale value of $600,000 to $1 million and a street value up to $5 million. It was being shipped for sale in Salt Lake City, Thomas said.

"It really speaks to the fact that Salt Lake City is not immune to this Mexican meth epidemic that's plaguing the country," Thomas said.

Over the year, agents have seized 127 pounds of meth and 7 pounds of heroin being trafficked by the Sinaloa cartel, Thomas said. The meth found Sunday appears to have been smuggled into the United States while packed into PVC pipe and inside the ceiling panel of a car.

Federal attorneys expected to file charges Tuesday, said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah. She would not comment on how many people would be charged.