More than 30K fentanyl pills and pounds of heroin and cocaine seized in drug investigation

A seven-month investigation has resulted in large quantities of drugs being seized from several locations in Salt Lake County.

A seven-month investigation has resulted in large quantities of drugs being seized from several locations in Salt Lake County. (Monika Gruszewicz, Shutterstock)


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SANDY — A woman suspected of being a dealer for a drug trafficking organization has been arrested after state and federal agents say they found large quantities of drugs being stored in multiple locations.

Leonilde Andrea Lopez-Vargas, 35, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of seven counts of drug possession with intent to distribute and three counts of child endangerment.

Starting in November of 2023, the FBI and Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force began an investigation into a suspected drug trafficking organization "believed to be distributing large quantities of narcotics in the Salt Lake Valley," according to a police booking affidavit.

During their investigation, agents identified Lopez-Vargas as someone "who was distributing distributable amounts of controlled substances at the direction" of others, the affidavit states.

A storage shed in West Valley City was searched in November, and "approximately 6,700 M30 fentanyl pills, approximately four pounds of methamphetamine, and over a pound of heroin" were found, according to the affidavit.

On Tuesday, agents served a federal search warrant on Lopez-Vargas' home in Sandy where an additional "28,000 M30 fentanyl pills, a pound of methamphetamine, approximately 3.5 pounds of heroin, and approximately 2.5 pounds of cocaine" were located, the affidavit states.

Three small children were also found in the home, according to police. Lopez-Vargas was arrested at that time.

In May, a 25-year-old man was arrested by the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force and the FBI and approximately 50 pounds of meth was seized from three locations throughout Salt Lake County. It was not immediately known whether his case and Lopez-Vargas's cases were connected.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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