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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 13, 2021

Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging 21 Individuals Running Narcotics Distribution Ring involving Methamphetamine, Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine

27 Pounds of Methamphetamine, 22 Pounds of Cocaine, 4 Pounds of Fentanyl, 2 Pounds of Heroin, and more than $400,000 Seized During Operation

SALT LAKE CITY – A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned a 32-count indictment charging 21 individuals for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine across the Wasatch Front. The charges follow joint Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operations conducted by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, Wasatch Metro Narcotics Strike Force, Davis County Metro Narcotics Strike Force, West Valley Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service.

Law enforcement officers seized more than 27 pounds of methamphetamine, four pounds of fentanyl, two pounds of heroin, 22 pounds of cocaine, two firearms, and more than $415,000 during the course of the operation.

The grand jury charged 18 individuals with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; 14 individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl; five individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin; 18 individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The indictment also includes 12 counts of distribution of methamphetamine; three counts of distribution of cocaine; one count of distribution of fentanyl; one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; four counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; three counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin; one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and one count of using a cellular phone to facilitate the distribution of methamphetamine.

Charged in the indictment are:

  • Melvin Bladimir Andrade, aka “The Trucker,” 32, of Roy;
  • Jesus Antonio Hernandez Guerrero, aka “Tonio,” 35, of North Ogden;
  • Francisco Javier Quezada Aguirre, aka “el Negro” aka “Poncho,” 27, of Mexico;
  • Pedro Ignacio Mendoza Ibarra, 28, of Mexico;
  • Hector Ramses Blasco Cota, aka “Winnie,” 25, of Salt Lake City;
  • Jose Luis Hernandez, aka “Chepe,” 60, of Ogden;
  • Troy Rivera, aka “Vecino” aka “Gonzo,” 48, of Farr West;
  • Hector Holguin Barrios, aka “Viejo,” 57, of Midvale;
  • Hugo Morales Chavero, 30, of Salt Lake City;
  • Victor Noe Martinez Portillo, 31, of West Jordan;
  • Josiel Rogelio Morales Lopez, 21, of Lehi;
  • Isaac Celaya Almanza, aka “Chupa” aka “Flaco,” 50, of Ogden;
  • Victor Guzman, “Chiste,” 46, of Ogden;
  • Erick Garcia Rivera, 40, of West Valley City;
  • Mario Moreno, 40, of Ogden;
  • Rubi Rosario Almenta Sanchez, 33, of Westminster, California;
  • Edwin Alberto Espino Alfaro, aka “Gordito,” 33, of Ogden;
  • Juan Carlos Rosas Rosas, 37, of Ogden;
  • Carlos Enrique Canos Gutierrez, aka “Kike,” 26, of West Valley City;
  • Marissa Perez, 22, of Torrance, California;  
  • Andrea Islas, 24 of, Salt Lake City.  
     

Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case. Special Agents from the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and investigators from the Wasatch Metro Narcotics Strike Force, Davis County Metro Narcotics Strike Force, West Valley Police Department, and Deputies from the United States Marshals Service, conducted the investigation.

Indictments are not findings of guilt. Defendants charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated May 14, 2021