United States Attorney's Office for the District of Utah

06/12/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2024 21:10

Foreign National Accused of Attempting to Traffick Over 38,000 Kilos of Methamphetamine in Utah

Press Release

Foreign National Accused of Attempting to Traffick Over 38,000 Kilos of Methamphetamine in Utah

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah - A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging a foreign national living in Utah for drug crimes after he allegedly possessed over 38,000 kilograms of methamphetamine that he intended to distribute in the District of Utah.

According to court documents, Fermin Castro-Tovar, 25, of West Valley City, Utah, sold illegal narcotics to an undercover agent during a controlled purchase. This controlled purchase from Castro-Tovar was one of several controlled purchases made by agents with the Wasatch Metro Drug Task Force, which received information that a drug trafficking organization was trafficking narcotics in the Salt Lake Valley. During the investigation, agents viewed video surveillance of Castro-Tovar accessing a storage unit in question days before agents seized approximately 24,020 grams of field-tested presumptively positive methamphetamine. Agents also seized approximately 3,401 grams of field-tested methamphetamine at Castro-Tovar's residence. Additionally, agents seized approximately 11,417 grams of field-tested presumptively positive methamphetamine at an apartment.

Castro-Tovar is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. His initial appearance on the indictment is scheduled for June 14, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. in courtroom 8.4 at the United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.

U.S. Attorney, Trina A. Higgins, of the District of Utah made the announcement.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Wasatch Metro Drug Task Force.

Assistant United States Attorney Seth Nielsen of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Utah is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce gun violence and other violent crime, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit Justice.gov/PSN.

The case was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Contact

Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
[email protected]
(801) 325-3237
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Updated June 12, 2024
Topic
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number:24-70