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Courtesy of Metro Gang Unit

Public Enemy No. 1 arrested after yearlong search, police say

By Natalie Crofts | Posted - May 12th, 2014 @ 7:16pm


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WEST VALLEY CITY — The Metro Gang Unit's Public Enemy No. 1 was arrested at a party Saturday, police said.

Rodrigo Burquez, 22, is a known gang member who was No. 1 on the gang unit's most wanted list for about a year, according to Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. There was an outstanding warrant for Burquez's arrest for several counts of aggravated assault and robbery, he said.

Investigators received information telling them Burquez was at a home in the 3700 South block of Granger Drive at about 5 a.m. Saturday morning, Hoyal said. There was a loud party going on at the address when detectives from the Metro Gang Unit and West Valley City police arrived at the scene, he said.

The officers observed several known gang members while watching the home and preparing to make contact, Hoyal said.

“A couple of people came outside as (the officers) were getting ready to make contact and saw they were police so they ran back inside," he said. "Officers chased them back inside the house, at which point they could see Burquez inside in the living room and identified him.”

Burquez was taken into custody without incident, police said.

The owner of the home, Fransisco Esmerado-Lazo, was also arrested for investigation of drug possession, Hoyal said. While officers were in the home they noticed drug paraphernalia in plain view. He said police obtained a search warrant to conduct a narcotics investigation.

Officers located marijuana, mushrooms, heroin and methamphetamine inside the house, Hoyal said.

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