The authorities on Saturday arrested three people suspected of conducting what is described as a "major drug trafficking operation" involving methamphetamine in Park City, the Park City Police Department said on Tuesday.

The law enforcement investigation included the Police Department, the Summit County Sheriff's Office and a list of agencies in the Salt Lake Valley. A Drug Enforcement Administration narcotics task force and the Internal Revenue Service were also involved.

The three people who were arrested are, according to the Police Department:

  • Julio Cesar Perez-Vargas, charged federally on Monday with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Francisco Javier Romero-Barajas, also charged federally with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Vanessa Barron-Ballardo, charged by the state with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and child endangerment
  • "The arrest of these individuals sends a strong message to drug traffickers in Park City and Summit County. You are not welcome here and we will use the full force of the law to bring you to justice," Sheriff Dave Edmunds said in a prepared statement released by the Police Department.


    The police said the case is tied to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.

    The Police Department said the arrests followed an investigation that lasted three months. More arrests are likely, the police said. More than 17 pounds of methamphetamine, nearly $17,000 in cash and a sport utility vehicle were seized, according to the police. Two of the arrests were made in Salt Lake and one was made in Park City, but it was not immediately clear which person was apprehended in Park City.