More Utah County teens driving into Salt Lake for cheap drugs

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SANDY -- Sandy police, along with Utah County Major Crimes Task Force, arrested nearly 40 drug dealers in a recent sting. They targeted Utah County teens coming into Salt Lake County to buy cheaper drugs.

Officers have noticed this trend for some time now, but recently they say it's escalated.

"The kids are getting together in the morning down in Utah County, pooling their money together, and then one or two kids will actually drive up here and come purchase a large quantity," says Sandy police Sgt. Troy Arnold.

Utah County Major CrimesSandy PD
**Meth**1.56 lbs-
**Heroin**2.42 oz5.4 oz
**Cocaine**1.1 oz4.5 oz

The teens will bring up to $1,000, buy a huge amount, then either sell it to other young people or use it themselves. Officers say that money goes a lot further in Salt Lake County because there's more supply; prices are double in Utah County. "They're willing to drive a short distance, borrow mom and dad's car and claim they're going for a quick errand, when in fact they're driving up here and purchasing drugs," Arnold says.

Sandy police officers and the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force worked together to bust 39 people in six days -- mostly low-level drug dealers. They seized one and a half pounds of meth, worth $41,000; 7.8 ounces of heroin, and 5.6 ounces of cocaine. They also apprehended two guns and $7,000 in cash.

**Results of six-day operation**
**Arrested Suspects**39
**Guns seized**2
**Vehicles seized**2
**Cash seized**$7,565
**Methamphetamine**1.56 lbsStreet value by the 8 ball: $41,600
**Heroin**7.8 ozStreet value by the balloon, SL County: $7,400
Street value by the balloon, Utah County: $14,800
**Cocaine**5.6 oz Street value by the balloon, SL County: $5,300
Street value by the balloon, Utah County: $10,600

Detectives say the transactions happened in broad daylight. "We would go to parking lots. You would routinely see one or two kids in a car, not in the main population of the parking lot. They tend to park further away from the buildings," Arnold explains.

Police say Salt Lake drug dealers will not drive down to Utah County, and they know the kids will come to them.

"The sad thing, and the unfortunate thing, we're seeing is they're actually young -- 16 to 24 years old is the average age," Arnold says.

After the operation ended, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement got involved. Many of those arrested now face deportation.



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