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Press Release

Utah Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle during Alleged Drug Trafficker’s Attempt to Flee from Police

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

Salt Lake City, Utah – A federal grand jury in Utah returned an indictment today charging a foreign national with possession of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl with intent to distribute.

According to the complaint, on March 1, 2023, detectives with the Salt Lake Area Metro Gang Unit (MGU) witnessed Marcos Adrian Garcia Lugo, 21, speeding in the area of 3100 South Bangerter Highway in Salt Lake County, Utah. Detectives attempted to stop the vehicle with lights and sirens, but the driver fled, and detectives terminated their pursuit. Moments later, an MGU detective who is also an ATF task force officer observed Lugo make a sharp turn at 3600 West and 3150 South, where he slammed into another car that struck a pedestrian. The detective watched Lugo exit the driver’s seat and take off on foot away from the crash. Along Lugo’s flight path, detectives found a softball-sized amount of field-tested-positive methamphetamine and a stolen Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm firearm. Lugo was later arrested at a residence north of the crash. In Lugo’s vehicle, detectives also found 3.5 pounds of field-tested-positive methamphetamine, a half-pound of heroin, approximately 3,000 fentanyl pills, and $2,557.00 in cash. 

Lugo is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and alien in possession of a firearm. The defendant is scheduled for his arraignment hearing March 9, 2023, at 9:15 a.m. in courtroom 8.4 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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

The case is being investigated jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Salt Lake Area Metro Gang Unit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Stephen L. Nelson, for the District of Utah is prosecuting the case.

Learn more about the danger of illicit fentanyl at or

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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 March 8, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 23-17