SALT LAKE CITY, UT – A federal complaint unsealed Thursday afternoon charges 15 individuals associated with a drug-trafficking organization within the Glenmob street gang with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to the complaint, Glenmob is a hybrid street gang with associations with other streets gangs.
Law enforcement officers executed nine search warrants Tuesday and made 12 arrests. Federal arrest warrants are pending for three other individuals charged in the complaint. Approximately 15 firearms have been recovered during the investigation along with approximately 15 pounds of methamphetamine, approximately one-half pound of heroin, and several pounds of marijuana. Approximately $36,000 in cash and three vehicles have been seized.
Agencies involved in the case include the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force, ATF, Sandy Police Department, West Valley City Police Department, Salt Lake Police Department, the Metro Gang Unit, the Unified Police Department, the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Utah Adult Probation and Parole. The South Jordan Police Department assisted in the take down of the case Tuesday.
The case is being investigated and prosecuted as a part of the Utah Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers are using a variety of tools to aggressively target violent criminals and gang members they believe are responsible for the rising violent crime rate in Utah. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are looking for cases they believe will have a high impact on community safety.
The number of violent crimes in Utah increased almost 18 percent in 2016. According to a Crime in Utah 2016 report prepared by the Utah Department of Public Safety, all violent crimes saw an increase in 2016, including homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Firearms were used in 55 percent of the homicides reported.
According to the complaint, in September 2017, the FBI began gathering information which indicated a substantial rise in gang violence in Salt Lake County. After a series of coordination meetings, agents determined that the majority of violent incidents, drive by shootings, and aggravated assaults involved members of the Nortenos and the Surenos street gangs, specifically involving members of the Sur Towne Chiques 13.
The FBI learned a large number of those associated with Chiques were also members of a music group named Glenmob. Glenmob frequently posts music videos on Youtube. The FBI identified many of those in the videos as suspected and known narcotics traffickers. The FBI, along with the Utah Department of Public Safety and Salt Lake County police gang units, determined Glenmob, while identifying themselves as a music group, were involved in several violent crimes in Utah. As a result, Glenmob was classified as a violent street gang. While gathering intelligence regarding the criminal acts perpetrated by members of Glenmob, the FBI learned local law enforcement suspected the music group of being a front for narcotics distribution.
Through months of investigation, the complaint says, investigators learned Glenmob is a very tight organization and rarely communicates with individuals outside their established circle. Leaders distribute to a nominal number of buyers in an effort to avoid law enforcement penetration into the organization.
Charged in the complaint are Daniel Silva, age 26; Abraham Sanchez, age 22; Angel Rivera, age 25; Sipriano Molina, age 21; Cameron Lucas, age 19; Melissa Kelly, age 32; Kenneth Reyos, age 20; Dominic Trujillo, age 23; David Miramontes, age 32; Nick Vigil, age 31; Jesus Alvarado, age 31; Salvador Tafolla, age 26; Juan Noriega, age 34; Tranqulino Reyos, age 23; and Fabien Uriel Tapia-Bustamante, age 18. All are residents of the Salt Lake Valley.
According to the complaint, agents believe that based on evidence gathered in the case and investigative techniques described in the complaint that Silva, Sanchez, Molina, Lucas and Tafolla have conspired with each other and others to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Additionally, agents believe that Rivera, Kelly, Miramontes, Trujillo, Kenneth Reyos, Vigil, Alvarado, Tranqulino Reyos, Noriega, and Tapia-Bustamante are all sub-distributors and have conspired with each other and others to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine to other sub-distributors within the Salt Lake Valley.
Twelve defendants have appeared in court on the charge in the complaint. Melissa Kelly was released on conditions of supervised release. Eleven have been detained. Federal arrest warrants remain active for Daniel Silva, Sipriano Molina, and Fabian Uriel Tapia-Bustamante.
The maximum penalty for the charge in the complaint is up to life in prison with a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence. The penalty also includes a potential $10 million fine and five years of supervised release.
Complaints are not findings of guilt. Defendants charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on May 18, 2018