Short-term house traffic leads to Utah police tip, drug bust

By Pat Reavy
Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

Tips from concerned citizens led Sandy police to a major drug bust.

The Sandy SWAT team served a search warrant about 4 a.m. Wednesday at an undisclosed location in the Salt Lake Valley. Inside, they found an expensive growing system producing high-grade marijuana.

More than 130 plants described as "top of the line" marijuana were seized, said Sandy police Sgt. Victor Quezada. Each plant was capable of producing about a pound of marijuana with an estimated street value of $4,000. All of the plants seized had an estimated street value of $524,000, he said.

The plants were in five to six 6-by-6 buckets. Some were young, very small plants, while others were over 2 feet tall.

A number of psychedelic mushrooms were also found in the house.

In addition, an estimated $50,000 worth of top-of-the-line equipment used to grow the marijuana was seized, including $100 light bulbs, CO2 tanks, fans and 300 lights. The growing operation took up a good portion of a large basement, Quezada said.

Two men were arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of drug manufacturing and distribution. Quezada said investigators may seek federal charges because of the size of the operation. He said the bust may lead to other arrests.

Police praised the anonymous tips that led to the bust and encouraged others to help be the eyes and ears of law enforcement. Lots of short-term traffic in front of a house at all hours of the day or night could be a sign of a drug house, according to police.

Copyright 2007 The Deseret News Publishing Co.

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