South Salt Lake business part of massive alleged drug, money laundering operation

Jan 8, 2024, 10:50 PM | Updated: Jan 9, 2024, 5:55 am

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A small, unassuming strip mall business is accused of being at the center of a massive, multimillion-dollar money laundering operation linked to drug trafficking along the Wasatch Front.

The bust by the U.S. Attorney of Utah and partnering law enforcement agents led to the arrest of nearly a dozen people.

Employees who work in businesses in the 300 East strip mall, located on the corner of 300 E. 3300 South in South Salt Lake, explained that from their understanding, one of the now-shuttered storefronts was split into two businesses.

Sharing the same front door, the space appeared to be taken up by both a food establishment and Multiservicios Lokos. The snack bar, according to nearby employees and signs on the window, sold small food items like tortas, ice cream, fresh fruit and drinks.

According to the shared sign and window decals, the business Multiservicios Lokos also operated within the walls. Nearby employees say customers talked about being able to cash checks there and wire money, which are services advertised on the windows.

It’s that side, Multiservicios Lokos, that the Department of Justice believes the owner, Georgina Espinoza-Grajeda, and her employee, Jesid Dadiana De Sutter, used as a front to wire millions of dollars of drug money from Utah to suppliers in Honduras and Mexico.

“Espinoza and De Sutter laundered the money by falsifying wire transfer information to avoid detection,” explained a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah. “Multiservicios Lokos LLC was allegedly the laundering hub for multiple drug trafficking organizations.”

Money laundering operation lasted for nearly two years

They believe the two engaged in illegal wire transfers between January 2022 to November 2023. But in all, 24 defendants, including the business itself were named in the case. This led to 23 people being charged in a superseding indictment with 33 federal crimes. Those arrested live in cities across Salt Lake and Utah counties.
“Espinoza-Grajeda and De Sutter operated their money-remitting business and laundered millions of dollars in drug proceeds deposited by their co-defendants trafficking in fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine throughout the Wasatch Front,” the release stated.
It explained that through a collaborative law enforcement effort, “agents and officers seized 62,000 fentanyl pills, 24.5 pounds of heroin, 8.5 pounds of cocaine,” plus several guns and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. 
“Agents and officers estimate the criminal organization laundered more than $20 million since January 2022,” the release said.

Employees working nearby were in disbelief learning about the alleged operations in what they saw as a small, quiet South Salt Lake storefront.

A sign taped to the door announces that it’s unlawful for the snack and food business to keep running in that location. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, talking about the proposed changes that are happening to downt...

Carole Mikita and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This plan is ambitious’: Salt Lake County Mayor Wilson talks about the revitalization of Salt Lake City

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson spoke to KSL TV about all the proposed changes that could hit downtown Salt Lake City.

10 hours ago

A silhouetted man sitting in a chair on a phone call....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

New federal data shows favorite methods of scammers targeting Utahns

Over 26,200 Utahns reported getting hit by fraud to the Federal Trade Commission last year. And one out of five of those Utahns lost money to imposters.

10 hours ago

The Salt Lake City Police Department is releasing the Utah driver license photo of Jordan Gonzales ...

Carlysle Price

SLCPD requested help finding a missing, at-risk man

The Salt Lake City Police Department said they are looking for information about a missing, at-risk man.

11 hours ago

Odin Meacham, a 30-year-old man from Duchesne County, was found guilty Monday on assaulting officer...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Utah man convicted of assaulting law enforcement at US Capitol on Jan. 6

A man from Utah has been found guilty of seven felonies for actions at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

12 hours ago

A Utah DPS helicopter helping Salt Lake County Search and Rescue getting a hiker off a mountain aft...

Michael Houck

A pair of Utah treasure hunters needed rescuing after getting hurt

Two hikers needed help getting off Lookout Peak after one hurt their leg while looking for treasure on Sunday morning. 

12 hours ago

Officials obtained video footage from Orem Recreation Center, and needs help identifying this suspe...

Carlysle Price and Brianna Chavez. KSL TV

Police working to identify Orem Recreation Center sexual assault suspect

Officials reported a man sexually assaulted someone at The Orem Recreation Center Wednesday afternoon. Police said they need help identifying the suspect.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

South Salt Lake business part of massive alleged drug, money laundering operation