SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A 28-year-old man will spend more than two decades in federal prison after accepting a plea deal in a large scale drug trafficking case.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Brenton Michael Forney, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in October to one count of possession of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl with intent to distribute.
“The women and men of Utah law enforcement dismantled a prolific drug trafficking operation,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today. “They significantly slowed the flow of extraordinarily dangerous substances into our neighborhoods, such as fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine. I am confident that this operation, and others like it, helped saved Utah lives.”
U.S. District Judge Jill N. Parrish sentenced Foney Tuesday afternoon in federal court to a stipulated sentence of 23 years. Forney will forfeit $491,674.52 in cash and five firearms and associated ammunition as a part of his plea deal.
Authorities claimed Forney was the alleged ringleader of the Utah operation.
Forney, along with six other defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, four counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, one count of possessing a firearm, one count of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, eight counts of distribution of a controlled substance, 19 counts of use of a communication facility in a drug trafficking offense, and one count of structuring in a superseding indictment returned in November 2018.
During the investigation of the case, approximately 47 pounds of methamphetamine, 26.4 pounds of heroin, 4.4 pounds of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, and eight guns were seized.
At sentencing, prosecutors learned that since Forney’s arrest, there was a significant decline in the availability of illegal drugs in the Salt Lake Valley for months afterward.
The case against Forney was prosecuted by the assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office. Officers and agents with the DEA Metro Narcotics Task Force, Layton Police Department, and the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force investigated the case.
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