Davis County's combined agency drug enforcement strike force tallied 154 arrests in 1988, up from the 107 in both years preceding it, Layton Police Chief Doyle Talbot reported.
Talbot supervised the Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force last year and turns control of the six-agent unit over to the Davis County Sheriff's Office on July 1.In his annual report, Talbot said the strike force investigated 469 cases in 1988, compared to 425 in 1987 and 402 in 1986. The investigations resulted in 154 arrests last year.
Talbot said the strike force doubled its size in 1988, from three to six agents, including one working full time on seizing assets of narcotics violators.
Two agents were added through federal grants obtained by Kaysville and Clearfield, Talbot said, with the other agents funded by Layton, Bountiful and the sheriff's department.
Talbot said the seizure agent added in September 1988 has already more than paid for his salary in the value of his seizures, including 26 vehicles. Some of the vehicles are stored at the county's road shop pending an auction, but some have been converted for use by the undercover agents.
Talbot said the state's new tax stamp law, which requires narcotics dealers to buy and affix revenue stamps to marijuana and cocaine, is also being used to good effect by the strike force.
More than $1.5 million in assessments have been filed against 20 drug dealers for failure to buy and affix the tax stamps. According to Talbot's report, however, only $5,393 has been collected and, of that, a judge ordered $1,005 to be returned.
The largest assessment of $482,040 is listed against a Syracuse man, Lane Stromberg, on several pounds of cocaine found in his garage. A jury, however, found Stromberg not guilty of possession with intent to distribute the cocaine, leaving the assessment in legal limbo.
According to Talbot's report, the strike force made its largest number of arrests - 30 - in Layton, followed by 25 in Clearfield, 23 in Bountiful, 18 out of Salt Lake and 13 in Ogden.
Cocaine and marijuana remain the most popular drugs in strike force investigations, accounting for 110 and 50 investigations, respectively.