Duchesne and Uintah county law enforcement authorities arrested 37 people in what is believed to be the most massive strike against organized crime ever in eastern Utah.

The arrests late Tuesday completed an eight-month investigation into racketeering and narcotics trafficking in the Uintah Basin.Thirty-seven people were arrested and charged with more than 50 counts of violating the state Controlled Substances and Organized Crime Acts, Duchesne County Sheriff Clair Poulson said.

The investigation resulted in the arrest of 20 Vernal residents and 17 Roosevelt residents on felony and misdemeanor charges, Poulson said.

He said several arrests stemmed from thefts of oil field equipment and drill bits, and property worth more than $100,000 was recovered.

Of the 37 arrested, 34 were charged with selling cocaine or marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

Poulson said officers spent Tuesday night locating and arresting individuals charged with the crimes.