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Ogden drug trafficker may face 20-year term

SHARE Ogden drug trafficker may face 20-year term

The woman who directed the Ogden segment of an international drug trafficking ring pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to operating a continuing criminal enterprise.

Tracy Ann Sanchez, 32, of Ogden faces a prison sentence of 20 years to life and a $2 million fine. As part of her plea agreement, Sanchez admitted to several violations of federal drug laws, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.

Sanchez was charged along with 50 others in what the FBI has called one of Utah's largest drug busts.

Investigators said the suspects were involved in an international drug ring that was importing and distributing cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico, through Arizona and Southern California, to the Salt Lake City-Ogden area.

The group, dubbed "Los Chacales," or "the Jackals," was thought to have been operating for five years. The investigation began in December 1998 with an anonymous tip, and eventually involved 14 different agencies, including law enforcement officers in Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Ogden and Weber County, plus the Internal Revenue Service and National Guard.

Sanchez originally was indicted on 60 counts, including a charge of continuing criminal enterprise. Juan Ramon Olmedo-Cruz, 30, of Salt Lake City, was also indicted on the same charge and 41 others, including conspiracy and distribution.

Investigators said Olmedo-Cruz's operation worked in cooperation with Sanchez's.

Olmedo-Cruz's case is pending in federal court.