Anglo makes most-wanted list
The Park City Police Department has added a white person to its most-wanted list, making an alleged drug dealer from Park City the first non-Latino placed on the department’s controversial compilation of sought-after criminal suspects.
The police recently placed Sean Thomas Blair on the most-wanted list, which identifies the 10 known criminal suspects who the police most want to catch. Blair, 21, is wanted on a $10,000 arrest warrant, issued on Aug. 1, 2005.
He is charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, which are second- and third-degree felonies. His last known address is 2449 Doc Holliday Drive, in Prospector.
Blair’s placement on the most-wanted list is particularly significant in the aftermath of the original list, released in the fall. At that time, each of the suspects placed on the most-wanted list was a Latino. Leaders in the Latino community questioned the racial makeup of the list and wondered why, in a community that is mostly white, the list was exclusively Latino.
Mike Fierro, a Police Department detective involved in compiling the most-wanted list, said adding Blair was not a reaction to the criticism the police received last fall. Fierro said Blair’s inclusion is based on the reasoning that the police use when considering suspects for the list.
"He’s really No. 11," Fierro said, describing why Blair was left off the original top-10 list. "That guy was put on because he met the criteria."
The police consider the severity of the charges and the amount of bail when they decide whether to add someone to the list. Fierro said Bob Lucking, a Police Department detective, wanted Blair put on the list.
In a two-page filing at Third District Court on Aug. 1 signed by Summit County Sheriff’s Office detective Brad Wilde, prosecutors allege that Blair sold undercover drug officers cocaine and marijuana in 2004.
On Sept. 27, 2004, an undercover detective met Blair at about 9 p.m. at the intersection of Sidewinder Drive and Comstock Drive, when the detective bought cocaine from Blair, the prosecutors charged.
The detective and Blair then drove to a nearby residence, where the detective paid $50 for marijuana, prosecutors said.
Blair sold the undercover detective 2.2 grams of cocaine and 6.3 grams of marijuana, according to the filing.
Second-degree felonies are punishable by 1 to 15 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine and third-degree felonies carry prison sentences of up to five years and fines of up to $5,000.
"Some of our most serious warrants here in Park City happen to be drug cases," Fierro said.
Blair took Mario Garcia Hernandez’s spot on the top-10 list. The police captured Hernandez at a Main Street restaurant where he was working on Nov. 2, 2005. Fierro said the police received a tip that Hernandez was using an alias after his picture was published with a Park Record article about the original list.
Hernandez is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and escape from official custody.
When the police released the original list, Latino advocates were displeased with the racial makeup of the suspects.
Shelley Weiss, a local advocate, said the list was "unfortunate" and "very frustrating" but accepted the Police Department’s assertion that the list was not motivated by race. Robert Archuleta, the head of Latino-advocacy group Utah Coalition of La Raza, said it appeared the police were "targeting Hispanics."
Fierro said it seems that some of the suspects on the most-wanted list, especially those with older arrest warrants, have fled the U.S. and the police expect to replace them on the list.
He said the police are considering 21 people for placement on the list. Of those, 14 are Latino men, five are white men, one is a white female and one is an Asian man, Fierro said. The most serious charges they face are drug-distribution counts, he said.
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