OGDEN -- The Weber-Morgan Strike Force busted a drug deal and arrested four men, ending a monthlong investigation spanning at least two states.
Police arrested Felipe Casas-Zavala, 32, Roberto Mora, 41, Jesus Dominguez, 43, and Omar Palomares, 34, on charges of intending to sell a pound of methamphetamine.
Police believe the men were involved in a drug distribution ring based in Salt Lake City that was supplied by Mexican drug cartels out of Southern California, said Weber-Morgan Narcotics Stike Force Sgt. Troy Burnett.
"In cooperation with the FBI, we were able to pinpoint one of the guys in Ogden. We stopped him (Tuesday) night, found a pound of meth, and some of the guys had user amounts on them as well," Burnett said. The methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $26,000, he said.
Officers found cocaine and marijuana on Palomares when they booked him into jail, Burnett said.
Officers cuffed the men around 6 p.m. at 2736 S. 1900 West, just as a large group of parents were taking their daughters to an evening dance class.
"We were literally taking these guys on trucks as parents were trying to drive around us," Burnett said.
It is the next generation he thinks about when they bust drug dealers. "I don't know if this is correct, but I think for every pound they get off the streets, that is one person who won't try the drug and become an addict."
But that job has only become more difficult with time. A pound of methamphetamine used to be a surprise when Burnett was working the drug beat a decade ago, he said. This bust marks the 42nd pound of methamphetamine the strike force has booked into evidence this year.
Burnett points to a lack of enforcement from Salt Lake City. "That's now a juncture point all throughout the Northwest. They smuggle it into California and up to Salt Lake," he said.
All four men are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, he said. They are being held in Weber County Jail for U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement.