WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4) — Police arrested five men on Wednesday, accused of selling fentanyl pills and crack cocaine for several months throughout Salt Lake County.
Detectives with the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force said they had been leading a drug investigation on a drug trafficking organization for months. According to probable cause statements, detectives found multiple houses and people involved in meeting with “street level” customers.
“Each day the members of this organization are leaving their houses and selling for multiple hours then returning home late at night,” Detectives said in a probable cause statement. “This same routine continues each day.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Detectives reportedly served multiple search warrants throughout West Valley City and allegedly found distributable amounts of fentanyl and crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia, and large amounts of cash. The drugs reportedly were field tested and tested positive.
Officers arrested five suspects involved, all facing one count of second-degree felony money laundering, two counts of second-degree felony drug possession with the intent to distribute, and one count of misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia:
- Yahir Alexander Acosta-Melendez, 20
- Yeirin Oni Aguilar-Mendez, 26
- Ronald Canaca-Cabrera, 30
- Rigo Adolfo Melendez-Martinez, 43
- Cristian Antonio Valle-Acosta, 22
According to probable cause statements, Valle-Acosta and Aguilar-Mendez denied selling illegal narcotics to police, claiming to be painters. Valle-Acosta was allegedly unable to provide much “if any information” on his painting job, according to police.
Police report that Canaca-Cabrera, Melendez-Martinez and Acosta-Melendez admitted to selling the drugs, however, only because they had been unable to find legitimate work in Utah. Melendez-Martinez reportedly said he would sell the pills for $2 or $3, while Canaca-Cabrera allegedly admitted to selling pills for $1 to $2.
Detectives said all five men have no ties to Utah or the United States and “would likely flee the jurisdiction” if released. All five have been ordered to be held in Salt Lake County Jail without bail.
Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.