21 indicted in large Utah drug trafficking ring

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City has indicted 21 people on numerous charges accusing the group of running or participating in a drug trafficking ring.

The group faces a total of 32 counts for methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl distribution across the Wasatch Front, according to a prepared statement from acting U.S. Attorney for Utah Andrea T. Martinez. The indictments, handed down April 28, were unsealed in federal court on Thursday.

As of Thursday all but three of the people charged have been arrested. According to the FBI, drugs were being shipped from Mexico through California into Utah where they were distributed throughout the Salt Lake Valley.

Several local, state and federal agencies worked together during the 10-month operation and in the process seized 27 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $720,000; 4 pounds of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $54,000; 2 pounds of heroin with an estimated street value of $60,000; and 22 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $800,000, Martinez said. Two firearms and more than $415,000 cash was also seized.

Those facing charges are: Melvin “The Trucker” Bladimir Andrade, 32, of Roy; Jesus Antonio “Tonio” Hernandez Guerrero, 35, of North Ogden; Francisco Javier Quezada Aguirr, 27, of Mexico who goes by the monikers “el Negro” and “Poncho”; Pedro Ignacio Mendoza Ibarra, 28, of Mexico; Hector “Winnie” Ramses Blasco Cota, 25, of Salt Lake City; Jose “Chepe” Luis Hernandez, 60, of Ogden; Troy “Vecino” Rivera, 48, of Farr West, who also goes by the moniker “Gonzo”; Hector “Vieho” Holguin Barrios, 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 “Chupa” Celaya Almanza, 50, of Ogden, who also goes by the moniker “Flaco”; Victor “Chiste” Guzman, 46, of Ogden; Erick Garcia Rivera, 40, of West Valley City; Mario Moreno, 40, of Ogden; Rubi Rosario Almenta Sanchez, 33, of Westminster, California; Andrea Islas, 24 of, Salt Lake City; Marissa Perez, 22, of Torrance, California; Juan Carlos Rosas Rosas, 37, of Ogden; Edwin “Gordito” Alberto Espino Alfaro, 33, of Ogden; and Carlos “Kike” Enrique Canos Gutierrez, 26, of West Valley City.

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