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Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3

By Haley Smith | Posted - Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:31pm


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PARK CITY — A place most commonly known for its snow is now known for meth. Police busted a drug ring that ended with three arrests from a major Mexican drug cartel.

The investigation started with the help of the Davis Metro Narcotics Unit. Sgt. Brady Fitzpatrick says his unit got intel on a drug cell working out of Park City. Fitzpatrick immediately notified the department, who started an investigation right away.

During the three month investigation, 17 pounds of meth were discovered that has a street value of approximately $170,000. Park City Police department says this bust is tied right to Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.

The Park City police chief says it made sense because drug-related crime had spiked in the community. Summit County Sheriff David Edmunds says this bust is only the start of their work to crack down on drug trafficking in the area and that they have powerful resources to help them.

The cell they took down the ring that branched in northern Utah, Colorado and finally Mexico. They were distributors and transport for the drug.

On Saturday police arrested Julio Cesar Perez-Vargas, Francisco Javier Romero-Barajas and Vanessa Barron Ballardo. Vargas and Barajas were charged with conspiracy to posses methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Some of the drugs were found hidden in a diaper.

Federal workers like the DEA also had a major hand in the case, but couldn't address KSL-TV Wednesday because of the government shutdown.

There is still an active investigation for other people possibly involved, but police say this will put a major dent in the transport operations in the area.

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