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Press Release

Alleged Drug Trafficking Ring Leader and Utah Business Owner Behind Bars Following Massive Narcotics Bust

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah – A federal judge ordered detention of the leader of a large Utah narcotics organization.  In the Memorandum Decision and Order filed Friday, the judge wrote that the decision to detain Jaafar Altalibi was based in part on “the significant role defendant played in distributing highly toxic substances throughout the community for approximately a decade…”

In October, a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City, Utah, returned a 15-count indictment charging multiple defendants, including foreign nationals, with drug-related offenses, including synthetic drugs commonly referred to as “bath salts,” and providing defendants notice that if convicted of the charges, they would forfeit millions of dollars in cash, bank accounts, property and other assets.

According to court documents, Jaafar Altalibi, 40, Salt Lake County; Mountazar Altalibi, 34, Salt Lake County; Haydar Altalibi, 43; Salt Lake County; David Lovato, 42, Salt Lake County; Allen Jervis, 54, Salt Lake County; Hannah Taylor, 26, Salt Lake County; Samantha Barber, 39, Salt Lake County; Roble Abdinoor, 42, Seattle, Washington;  Faris Musa, 30, Salt Lake County;  Hussein Alsalemi, 39, Salt Lake County; Khadim Musa, 31, Salt Lake County; Martinus De Koning, a foreign national; Smokers Haven J, LLC; and Lake City Auto Sales, LLC, are all charged with a number of drug related offenses, which include but do not apply to all defendants, conspiracy to distribute schedule I controlled substances; conspiracy to commit money laundering; attempted possession of α-Pyrrolidinohexanophenone (α-PHP) with intent to distribute; possession of α-Pyrrolidinohexanophenone (α-PHP) with intent to distribute; distribution of α-Pyrrolidinohexanophenone (α-PHP); distribution of α-Pyrrolidinohexanophenone (α-PHP) for the purpose of unlawful importation; and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.  Defendants were also provided notice that if convicted of the charges, defendants would forfeit property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as the result of such offense and any property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, the offense(s).  This property includes seven real estate properties; six bank accounts; all vehicles parked at an involved business; four additional vehicles to include a 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE, 2022 Cadillac Escalade, 2017 Landrover Range Rover Sport, and a 2017 Lexus GS350; other luxury items, multiple residences, and two businesses.

U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah made the announcement.

The DEA Metro Narcotics Task Force, made up of officers from the DEA, Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake/Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, West Valley City Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are investigating this case.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Utah Department of Public Safety, Tooele Police Department, Sandy Police Department, South Jordan Police Department, Murray Police Department, Salt Lake City Police Department, Park City Police Department, and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office participated in the investigation.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Seth Nielsen, from the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Assistant United States Attorneys Vernon G. Stejskal, and Cy H. Castle, for the District of Utah are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
(801) 325-3237

Updated February 11, 2023

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-10