Head of large Utah drug trafficking ring sent to prison

Head of large Utah drug trafficking ring sent to prison

(Kristin Murphy, KSL)

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SALT LAKE CITY — The leader of a large Utah drug trafficking operation will spend more than two decades behind bars.

A federal judge sentenced Brenton Michael Forney, 28, of Salt Lake City, to 23 years in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty last October to one count of possession of methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Agents seized 47 pounds of methamphetamine, 26.4 pounds of heroin, 4.4 pounds of a mixture or substance containing fentanyl and eight guns during the investigation.

Forney and six others were originally charged with more than 30 drug-related counts. He admitted that he had the drugs and intended to sell them in October 2018. As part of his plea agreement, Forney will forfeit $491,674 in cash and five guns.

Prosecutors say they later learned that there was a significant drop in the availability of illegal drugs in the Salt Lake Valley for months after Forney’s arrest.

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Dennis Romboy
Dennis Romboy is an editor and reporter for the Deseret News. He has covered a variety of beats over the years, including state and local government, social issues and courts. A Utah native, Romboy earned a degree in journalism from the University of Utah. He enjoys cycling, snowboarding and running.


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