Utah Stories

Why Are Drug Runners Running Rampant in Salt Lake City?

On today’s top 5, we discuss why drug runners are running rampant in the streets of Salt Lake City.


  1. Trump Wins Chaotic Utah Presidential Caucus Overshadowed By Voting System Issues 

Utah is poised to join the growing list of states where President Joe Biden has fended off Democratic challengers. And Beehive State Republicans chose former President Donald Trump for a sequel to 2020, beating Nikki Haley by 17 percentage points during a chaotic caucus night, according to early returns, according to the Tribune. 

The Utah GOP urged caucus attendees to pre-register through their website to make the check-in process go smoothly. But chaos ensued Tuesday night after digital systems crashed at multiple caucus locations. 

At several locations, lack of internet slowed down and even stopped the process, leaving attendees stuck in long lines, according to a Utah Republican source familiar with the issues who wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. Caucus-goers also had problems with the party’s online system, further fouling up the voting process. At Copper Hills High School, those problems reportedly caused hundreds of potential attendees to give up and go home. 

  1. SLC Council Votes To Limit Public Comment 

After offering almost no notice and providing little opportunity for input, the Salt Lake City Council adopted new restrictions on public comment during its meetings, according to the Tribune.

The council voted 6-0 on Tuesday night for a new policy that will limit the general public comment period at meetings to one hour and expand options to submit comments by video. 

On Monday, the council revised the formal meeting agenda that had already been posted to include the consideration of a resolution to amend public comment rules. City staffers recommended the council “suspend the rules and adopt” the changes immediately, effectively shutting down any meaningful chance for constituents to weigh in. 

  1. The Beginning of March Brings Lots of Snow 

The month of March kicked off with a heavy winter storm that delayed flights, caused road closures, and as seen on yesterday’s top 5, buried a South Jordan neighborhood in tumbleweeds. 

But how much snow did this storm bring? An interactive snow-total map showing the last 72 hours of snowfall revealed the mountainous areas surrounding Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon were hit the hardest, which would be expected. The Canyons got over 10 inches of fresh snow with areas like Snowbird, Alta and Brighton recording as much as 13 inches of new powder, according to ABC4. Snowbird currently has 115 inches of snow with 426 total inches of snow. You can see the snowpack totals. Right now we are at 130 percent of normal

  1. Utah Trio Accused of Falsely Applying for Pandemic Payroll Relief Funds 

Three Tooele residents are facing federal charges accusing them of applying for more than $400,000 in government loans during the pandemic, according to KSL. 

Halee Ann Mehlbauer, Timothy George Lopez and Rick A. Bolton were each indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 28 with seven counts of wire fraud. Mehlbauer was also charged with one count of money laundering.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mehlbauer, Lopez, and Bolton worked together to defraud the COVID-19 relief program, dubbed the Paycheck Protection Program, and related lenders out of approximately $195,930.50, and attempted to defraud them out of another approximately $226,312, by fraudulently applying for a total of approximately $422,242.50 in PPP loans,” according to charging documents.

The group is accused of carrying out their scheme from July 15, 2020, to Jan. 14, 2022. They used the money received from the government to pay for “unauthorized personal expenses, such as gambling expenses, debt payments, car rental payments and other miscellaneous expenses that were not related to any authorized payroll expenses,” according to the charges. They then allegedly attempted to “obtain forgiveness of as much of the loan proceeds as possible.”

  1. Why Are Drug Runners Running Rampant in Salt Lake City? 

Gourmandise Bakery, Peter Prier Violin Making School and the Ibarra Building next door to HSL Restaurant make up a few of the weaves of the cultural and economic tapestry in the district located around 300 East between 200 and 300 South. With drug use and drug trafficking running rampant, both day and night, and garbage strewn across lawns and on sidewalks, this neighborhood has certainly seen better days.

Salt Lake City Entreprepreneur, David Ibarra visited the Utah Stories podcast to discuss his experience with the homeless issues in his neighborhood in Salt Lake City. Ibarra has been in Salt Lake City for many years and has seen the city change and evolve drastically over the past few years, and not always for the better. 

Business owner David Ibarra described an incident in which he was attacked outside of his Salt Lake City business.

“There was an individual that was breaking into a car — my car — and had taken some stuff and was walking out,” Ibarra said. “I saw him walking away and I said, ‘Hold up! Give me that stuff! Drop it!’ I grabbed him by his shoulder. He had a knife in his right hand and began to try to penetrate the knife into my stomach. Luckily, I knew how to handle myself from the neighborhood I grew up in. I grabbed the knife with my left hand, wrestled him to the ground (which wasn’t too hard), got the knife out of his hand and called 911. I held him down for 28 minutes with no response.” 

*Content for this article curated from other sources.

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