Officers executing an early Thursday morning search warrant spawned by the ongoing Rio Grande district law enforcement campaign made more than two-dozen drug arrests and seized a stolen handgun.
The 6 a.m. raid was carried out at a residence near 900 West and North Temple in Salt Lake City by officers of Utah Department of Public Safety’s Special Emergency Response Team, the State Bureau of Investigation, Utah Adult Probation and Parole and the Salt Lake City Police Department, DPS Commissioner Keith Squires stated.
Squires said the raid was directly related to drug trafficking in the nearby downtown Salt Lake City homeless district, just four blocks away from the home.
The residence was ”basically a safe harbor for criminals,” said DPS Major Jess Anderson later Thursday. In addition to drugs, officers discovered five fugitives and a runaway juvenile.
Anderson said the search warrant was one of four served in the last week based on intelligence gathered in the $67 million Operation Rio Grande, a state-led effort to reduce lawlessness in near the shelter.
House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, commended the operation and said the 25 people arrested were among the ”worst of the worst,” trafficking drugs and human beings ”at the highest level.”
Other search warrants were served at hotels on North Temple and in Murray, and at a residence in Salt Lake City’s Poplar Grove neighborhood, Anderson said.
Indicating the investigation was ongoing and additional arrests were possible, authorities did not release further details on the raid, those arrested or the types of drugs confiscated.