Salt Lake police made the biggest marijuana bust in the city's history over the weekend.
More than 300 pounds of marijuana, two loaded guns and 6 ounces of cocaine were confiscated from three Salt Lake homes. Four men and a woman were arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.The bust culminated a two-month investigation by the department's narcotics unit, working in conjunction with the FBI. A federal "weed and seed" grant helped pay the costs of the investigation, said Salt Lake Police Capt. Marty Vuyk.
Friday night, officers executed three search warrants, one at 276 E. Sixth Avenue and another at 1266 W. 400 South. But most of the 318 pounds of pot was found in a mechanic's garage attached to a home at 2284 W. 500 South.
"Marijuana is readily available in Salt Lake City. This shows how readily available it can be," Vuyk said. "This is a huge amount to pick up at one time."
The marijuana has a street value of more than $300,000 if sold by the pound, Vuyk said. If it were sold in smaller quantities, it could be worth up to $1 million.
Officers said the marijuana may have come into the state from Mexico. Three of those arrested were illegal immigrants.
Undercover drug agents said after a press conference Monday that they could smell the marijuana as they walked up the sidewalk to the house at 2284 W. 500 South. Most of the marijuana appeared to be broken up by the pound, indicating it was being sold to dealers.
The suspects had the pot laid out to dry when police executed the search warrants. Since marijuana is generally compacted tightly while it's transported to keep it concealed from law enforcement, the suspects had broken up the bales and laid out the pot for airing.