Employees of New Yorker nightclub face money laundering, other charges

Jun 19, 2024, 5:14 PM | Updated: 7:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Following a yearlong investigation, and 10 months after Salt Lake police served an after-hours search warrant, criminal charges were filed Wednesday against four men who helped operate the New Yorker nightclub.

Glen Ross Easthope, 66, of Salt Lake City, was charged in 3rd District Court with money laundering and engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, second-degree felonies.

Kevin Smith, 26, of Ogden, was charged with money laundering, a second-degree felony; and engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, a third-degree felony.

Kody Brian Valdez, 25, of Orem, was charged with drug possession with intent to distribute and possession of a gun by a restricted person, third-degree felonies.

Oakland Faamoe, 30, of Tooele, was charged with theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony.

The charges come after several violent incidents occurred outside the club during the summer of 2023, including a fatal shooting. That prompted Salt Lake City Police Department’s SWAT team to serve a search warrant on the New Yorker, 60 W. Market Street, on Aug. 26.

“The Salt Lake business license lists the New Yorker as a reception center, and it lacks legal authority to operate in its current capacity. The business license prohibits alcohol storage or sale of alcohol on the premises,” according to charging documents.

“The nightclub used to be the New Yorker restaurant, which had a business license and operated as a reception area for private events. For over six months, the nightclub has been hosting illegal after-hours events every Friday and Saturday night between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.,” the charges allege.

The club’s business license lists Easthope as the registered agent. Smith was a promoter of the club, according to investigators.

During the search, police “located credit scanners; $159 in the front cash till, a backroom containing 68 alcohol bottles, an office containing 14 alcohol bottles, and a bar with 40 alcohol bottles,” according to the charges.

Detectives interviewed employees, one of whom admitted that “the New Yorker operates as an after-hours club” and that she was told “how much to charge women and men, and that everyone must pay,” the charges state.

Valdez, an employee, allegedly told investigators that “he sells marijuana because the business is a nightclub” and “stated that since they do not have a scanner, they do a visual check on the identifications.”

Following shootings outside the club on consecutive nights in June 2023, including one that killed a man, Salt Lake police announced enhanced patrols in the area.

“Between June 9 and July 15, 2023, the efforts of the enhanced patrol operations resulted in the arrest of 15 people, the seizure of six firearms, including three rifles, more than 30 traffic stops, and more than 50 community contacts with officers. Additionally, officers have seized cocaine and marijuana during their work,” the department said in August.

The New Yorker has since closed.

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Employees of New Yorker nightclub face money laundering, other charges