One month ago, Mayor Mendenhall of Salt Lake City, Chief Mike Brown of the Salt Lake City Police Department and Commissioner Jess Anderson of the Utah Department of Public Safety joined members of the Utah federal law enforcement community, including United States Marshal Matthew Harris and United States Attorney John Huber, to announce a strategic partnership to reduce violent crime in Salt Lake City.
Since that time, the partnerships gained have been central to the success of this strategic initiative. Leaders from every federal law enforcement agency in Utah with a mission to combat violent crime have joined the partnership, including the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Marshals Service. The partnership has also gained valuable partners in the Utah State Bureau of Investigation, the Unified Police Department, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
Since the beginning of January, this partnership has resulted in 24 defendants who present a threat to the safety to the citizens of Salt Lake City being charged or convicted in federal court. Of these 24 defendants, 16 illegally possessed firearms, and nine of the firearms involved in these cases were reported stolen; nine are currently on probation or parole for other offenses; eight have been charged with federal drug trafficking violations; seven are affiliated with a street gang; and five have a previous or current domestic violence charge; the narcotics seized includes heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack cocaine.
Examples of cases that have come from the partnership include Jordan Gonzales, 27, of Salt Lake City, who was allegedly involved in a drive-by shooting on January 20 in Salt Lake City. Gonzales was charged in federal court with one count of illegally possessing a firearm within a day of his arrest thanks to the ATF. The federal complaint filed by the United States alleges that Gonzales is a Norteno gang member who was the driver of a car involved in a drive-by shooting who fled from the police during a pursuit. After his vehicle became inoperable, it is alleged that Gonzales exited the driver’s side door, began to flee on foot, and removed a firearm from his waistband while an officer was within 5-10 feet of him. Due to the efforts of the SLCPD, the firearm was recovered, and Gonzales was apprehended after the deployment of a K9 officer. Gonzales’ case is currently pending in United States District Court.
Brian Keith Stack, 60, of Salt Lake City, is currently under indictment in federal court for allegedly enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity in Salt Lake City. Stack was charged by a federal grand jury with two counts related to the enticement of a minor and the attempted production of child pornography. This case was investigated by the SLCPD and brought to federal court due to the enhanced partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office.
Artemio Rivera-Luna, 34, of West Valley City, has been charged with three counts related to the distribution of multiple pounds of heroin and methamphetamine, along with the illegal possession of nine firearms. Due to the partnership with HSI and SBI, Rivera-Luna was charged in federal court on January 20 for conduct that occurred in Salt Lake City, and his case is currently pending.
Kirk Madsen, 41, of Granstsville, has been federally indicted for the possession of illegal firearms. Madsen allegedly opened fire with a large capacity automatic rifle outside of a Salt Lake City apartment complex during a domestic violence related incident. According to court documents, he admitted to emptying an entire 30 round rifle magazine during the incident. Because of the close partnership between the FBI, SLCPD, and the USAO, Madsen was arrested and indicted on federal charges on February 3.
“We mean what we say,” said United States Attorney John W. Huber. “As partners, we are serious in our commitment to aggressively pursue justice in Utah’s capital. Our goal is to make Salt Lake City a safer place, and after one month of targeted work, we are off to a promising start.”
“It’s our job to ensure residents, businesses, and visitors are safe in Salt Lake City and I am encouraged by the early outcomes of this partnership,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. “These apprehensions are an important step in making a difference for our community and reducing our crime rates.”
“While we expected to see some early success, the results so far have exceeded our expectations. Keeping these offenders off the street not only helps bring justice to their victims, but also keeps others from becoming victims,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown. “The success of our partnerships will ultimately be measured in our ability to keep our community safe by limiting the opportunity for criminals to pray on our neighbors, and this is a great start.”
“The Utah Department of Public Safety, State Bureau of Investigation is committed to removing those who victimize our communities,” said DPS Commissioner Jess Anderson. “We are excited to be part of an extensive and ongoing crime reduction effort in Salt Lake City. We appreciate the great partnerships and are thrilled to see the early success of this project.”
“The FBI plays a key role in combatting violent crime, focusing on issues that pose major threats to our society,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Meacham of the Salt Lake City FBI. “No community is untouched, which is why a concerted effort is necessary to fight this issue. Partnerships pool together the best of what law enforcement agencies have to offer. When we share resources, intelligence, and skills, it allows us to remain focused on one goal – keeping our communities safe.”
“ATF’s success in fighting violent crime has always been a direct result of our strong partnerships with the Salt Lake City Police Department, the State of Utah, our local law enforcement partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said ATF Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge David S. Booth. “With the combined dedication and skill of our Federal partners, I am confident we will have even greater success in the future and ensure that our communities stay safe.”
“HSI routinely leverages its investigative authority and expertise in partnership with federal, state and local law enforcement colleagues to address violent crime,” said HSI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Steve Andres. “We bring the ability to fight local crime and elevate it to a national or even international level as criminal networks are uncovered,” said Andres. “Our partnerships act as a force multiplier to keep our community safe.”
Indictments are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in an indictment are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.
— to www.justice.gov