10/09/2006

Utah SWAT team scores an 'accidental' bust

Pat Reavy
Deseret Morning News
Copyright 2006 The Deseret News Publishing Co.

SWAT team members from the Salt Lake County Sheriff Office's Cottonwood Heights district made two drugs busts for the price of one Wednesday night.

After several weeks of investigation, the SWAT team went to serve a warrant on a condominium near 7200 South and 1250 East. Because an informant told deputies the people inside might be armed, a SWAT team was used to serve the warrant, said Cottonwood Heights Chief of Police Robby Russo.

The SWAT team used a device that sets off a loud bang with a simultaneous bright flash of light to startle the occupants and give deputies the upper hand.

When the loud bang went off, however, another resident living two doors down thought the deputies were after him. The man threw two pounds of drugs into a backpack, grabbed his AR-15 rifle and tried to quickly exit the condo, Russo said.

Other SWAT team members who were doing surveillance outside saw the man leave in a hurry, stopped to question him and found his drugs and gun, Russo said.

In the condo that SWAT team members were originally investigating, four people were arrested for investigation of drug-related charges. Methamphetamine, cocaine, drug-packaging material and a shotgun were seized, he said.

The investigation into the drug house was continuing Thursday and was expected to lead to more arrests, Russo said.

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