SLC police, federal agents make joint drug trafficking bust

Jan 24, 2023, 12:53 PM | Updated: 1:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Investigators with the Salt Lake City Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and other agencies have come together for an ongoing investigation that’s resulted in seizing dangerous drugs, millions of dollars in cash and other means.

A plastic bag and what looks like salt: Law enforcement officers are bringing awareness to a bag that looks like Epson salt that is, in fact, bath salts. One kilogram of bath salts a street value of approximately $400,000.

This is part of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation where law enforcement seized more than 40 kilograms of bath salts, more than $6 million in real estate, four firearms and approximately $2.5 million in cash and assets.

That includes 21 vehicles worth more than $400,000, over $300,000 in jewelry and over $300,000 in designed handbags.

The investigation resulted in 25 people being arrested.

According to the DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dustin Gillespie, bath salts are dangerous as a type of illegal synthetic stimulant manufactured in east Asia and designed to mimic the effects of other drugs.

“Make no mistake. Bath salts are highly addictive poison that can lead to substance use disorder with symptoms that include combativeness, violence, hallucinations, and death,” Gillespie, said.

Gillespie said the bath salt drugs are often marketed with an innocent appeal and packaged in wrappers with graphic designs and disclaimers to hide the danger of the contents.

That said, he said it is common for packaging to mention it is not for human consumption.

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SLC police, federal agents make joint drug trafficking bust