Nationwide immigration dragnet leads to five arrests in Park City | ParkRecord.com

Nationwide immigration dragnet leads to five arrests in Park City

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Federal immigration authorities apprehended five people in Park City over a two-week period in late January and early February, part of a nationwide crackdown by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The arrests were among more than 100 in Utah made during what has been dubbed Project Southern Tempest. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said 104 people were arrested in Utah over three months, with 86 of them facing federal or state charges that include kidnapping, robbery and firearms counts. The other 18 in Utah are foreigners who were taken into custody on immigration violations. They could be deported.

According to a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Project Southern Tempest actions in Park City were:

  • An arrest on Jan. 20 on Park Avenue on an immigration charge. The spokesperson said the person, who is from Mexico, entered the U.S. illegally. The person has a criminal history that includes weapons violations and aggravated assault. The person is also a suspected gang member.
  • An arrest on Feb. 3 on Park Avenue on a drug charge. The spokesperson said the person, who is from Mexico, had previously been deported from the U.S. and re-entered the country. The person was also charged with state-level counts.
  • An arrest on Feb. 3 on Swede Alley on a drug charge — distribution of methamphetamine. The spokesperson said the person is a suspected gang associate and is from Mexico. The person entered the U.S. illegally.
  • An arrest on Feb. 3 on Swede Alley on a drug charge — distribution of methamphetamine. The spokesperson said the person is a suspected gang associate and entered the U.S. illegally.
  • An arrest on Feb. 4 in the vicinity of Round Valley Drive and S.R. 248. The spokesperson said the person is from Mexico and entered the U.S. illegally. The person faces a state charge of distribution of methamphetamines, according to the spokesperson.

    Names, ages and addresses of the people taken into custody were not immediately available.

    There were six cities in Utah where the arrest totals topped the five in Park City, with Salt Lake City and St. George leading the state with 14 each, according to numbers provided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Ron Bridge, a Summit County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, said Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials prior to the operation requested information about people with pending charges who were suspected to be in the U.S. illegally. The Sheriff’s Office provided information about three people wanted in drug cases, Bridge said. The arrests were made without incident, he said.

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    "When we’re asked to assist in an operation, we work hand in hand with other agencies to obtain the final goal, which is to apprehend criminals," Bridge said, adding, "These people were buying and selling narcotics in Summit County."

    The Park City Police Department was also involved in the operation through its work with a Wasatch Back drug task force, Police Chief Wade Carpenter said.

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