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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Six Indicted for Distribution of Cocaine and Methamphetamine along Wasatch Front

Six defendants are charged with 16 counts related to the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine

SALT LAKE CITY – A federal grand jury in the District of Utah has issued a16-count indictment, which alleges that six individuals associated with a drug trafficking organization are responsible for conspiring to distribute cocaine, in addition to the distribution of methamphetamine, along the Wasatch Front. 

The charges are the result of an investigation into a drug trafficking organization which was allegedly responsible for transporting kilograms of cocaine from California into Utah for distribution. Using court authorized investigative techniques, Special Agents from the FBI and the Wasatch Metro Narcotics Task Force identified six defendants allegedly responsible for the distribution of narcotics. 

From November of 2021 until February of 2022, agents completed several controlled buys of cocaine and methamphetamine from the defendants listed in the indictment. During the investigation, agents seized over 1.8 kilograms of cocaine, over one pound of methamphetamine, two firearms, and over $102,000 in cash. 

The indictment charges Leonardo Ortiz-Rios, aka Gerardo Ortiz Benitez, 45, of West Valley City, with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one count of distribution of cocaine. 

Teresa Sanchez, 45, of West Valley City, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. 

Jacinto Perez, 61, of Taylorsville, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, four counts of distribution of cocaine, three counts of distribution of methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. 

Alejandro Santana-Brito, 35, of West Valley City, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and two counts of distribution of cocaine and one count of reentry of a previously removed alien

Justin Archuleta, aka Philip Zachary Colvin, 50, of Salt Lake City, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. 

Jose Guadalupe Ruiz, 53, of Tooele, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. 
    
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen L. Nelson and Stewart M. Young in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case, Special Agents from the FBI and the Wasatch Metro Narcotics Task Force 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 March 3, 2022