Salt Lake police have completed another week-long sweep of the Pioneer Park area, looking for both drug dealers and buyers.
During the week of April 7, officers arrested 257 people, mainly in the area from the park to 700 West and South Temple, said Salt Lake police officer Jared Wihongi. Of the 257 arrested, 105 were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for felony crimes while 29 were being held on immigration detainers, he said.
Approximately 80 percent of the people arrested have been in Utah less than two years, Wihongi said. In addition to illegal immigrants, some of those arrested were people who drift from state to state selling drugs. Of those who had been in Utah less than two years, Wihongi said many of them had arrest records in several other states.
"A lot of them will deal drugs in an area to the point until they get harsher penalties from a judge, and then move on to the next state," he said.
During last week's sweep, undercover officers spent 60 hours making drug buys and posing as drug dealers as well, Wihongi said.
The effort was similar to a larger sweep in November when police teamed up with federal and state officials to arrest 658 people in six days. Eighty-seven of those arrested were for drug distribution and 165 people were arrested for attempting to buy drugs. That operation concentrated on the area from State Street to 600 West and from North Temple to 600 South.Wihongi said the drug sweeps would continue to be conducted on regular basis. He was unaware Thursday if any of the people arrested in last week's operating were repeat offenders from November.
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