Utah County Major Crimes Task Force makes large drug seizure in Tooele County

Feb 9, 2022, 10:31 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:15 pm

UTAH COUNTY — Investigators said the street value was over a quarter of a million dollars and the drugs were enough to supply thousands of users with a fix.

Instead, those illegal substances were in the hands of law enforcement Wednesday as deputies announced a significant seizure in another county.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon said detectives with the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force identified 20-year-old Berlin Ulices Cardona-Zuniga as someone who was distributing heroin and methamphetamine throughout Salt Lake County.

According to jail booking documents, investigators on Monday observed Cardona-Zuniga meet with another man inside his vehicle.

Prior to that interaction, the investigators had secured a search warrant for the car and they were prepared when they moved in and took both men into custody.

The other man told detectives he had purchased marijuana from Cardona-Zuniga for drug use, according to the probable cause statement.

Inside the car, the jail documents stated, were marijuana, a large amount of cash, small zip lock bags and someone else’s identifying documents.

Detectives also secured a search warrant for Cardona-Zuniga’s home in Stansbury Park in Tooele County.

Cannon said investigators uncovered 952 grams of methamphetamine as well as 350 grams of heroin.

The heroin appeared in photos supplied by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office as two large chunks in a crusted-over plastic container.

“If it were laying on the ground out in the middle of the desert and you were walking, you might just think it was a rock,” Cannon said of the heroin. “In this case, it’s a rock that can kill you without even throwing it at somebody, you know.”

Cannon said the meth was enough to supply 9,526 doses and had a street value of roughly $190,520. He said the heroin could be broken down into roughly 3,500 doses with a street value of $70,000.

He said any single dose, however, could prove to be extremely costly to an individual.

“I’ve had cases where somebody does of an overdose of heroin with a needle still injected in their vein, and that’s not hyperbole,” Cannon said. “It’s reality.”

Cardona-Zuniga was booked into the Tooele County Jail on suspicion of drug possession with intent to distribute, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of another’s identifying documents.

Cannon said it was important for detectives to get those quantities of drugs off the streets.

“You talk about having over 9,500 doses of methamphetamine and over 3,500 doses of heroin, it gets out on the street and that’s killing people in our community,” Cannon said. “It’s not safe.”

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Utah County Major Crimes Task Force makes large drug seizure in Tooele County