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SOUTH SALT LAKE -- Officers looking for drugs raided two businesses in the same South Salt Lake strip mall. One of the business co-owners disputes the allegations of illegal activity.
The raid happened Thursday afternoon at Big Daddy Pizza and La Guadalupana near 3300 South and 300 East. The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office says there has been an on-going drug investigation into the two businesses.
The sheriff's office did not release specific information about the quantities of narcotics that may have been recovered as a result of serving a search warrant, but deputies say they had solid evidence that the two businesses were involved in a multi-drug distribution operation.
Lt. Don Hutson said, "The distribution operations we believe are connected. I can't talk specifically about the relationships between the two. However, we do believe there was a relationship between the two businesses, as well as a narcotics distribution organization."
Hutson says deputies had very specific information about who they were looking for at each location. It's unknown if deputies found them or how many people were arrested.
Biplove Timilsina, co-owner of Big Daddy's Pizza, says the search was unnecessary. He says none of his employees were arrested but that they were handcuffed and forced to lie on the ground. He says he's upset that law enforcement would go that far.
"They said they had somebody who sold drugs in my store. I said, ‘They bought drugs from my store?' I said, ‘Give me the date. I have the video and I will see on the video,'" he said.
"It's totally wrong for them to come and destroy my store. It doesn't look good to my customers. We've been doing business for the past 10 years. We've been selling pizza. That's all we do," he added.
Deputies say the raids were timed during business hours to ensure that the people operating the businesses were there, and so officers could minimize damage to the establishments.