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'Chop shop' discovered in meth investigation, police say

A possible "chop shop" and more than a pound of methamphetamine were found in a house here early Wednesday, culminating a monthlong investigation by West Valley police.
A possible "chop shop" and more than a pound of methamphetamine were found in a house here early Wednesday, culminating a monthlong investigation by West Valley police.
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WEST VALLEY CITY — Five people were arrested, a possible "chop shop" uncovered and more than a pound of methamphetamine seized early Wednesday, culminating a monthlong investigation by West Valley police.

Officers from the department's Special Investigations Unit served a search warrant about 2 a.m. on a house at 4585 W. 3500 South.

West Valley Police Lt. Kent Stokes said the warrant was the result of an ongoing investigation into stolen property and drugs.

Officers stopped a vehicle seen leaving the house and found a package containing a pound of meth. Where the meth came from was still under investigation Wednesday, according to police.

The three occupants of the vehicle, Antonio Villalobos, 18, Casimiro Vargas Ochoa, 55, and Irvin Gould, 43, were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of drug distribution.

Police say a "pay/owe" sheet that recorded drug transactions was also found inside the vehicle. It showed that money was paid out to Jody Finley, 33, a resident of the house under investigation, according to investigators. She was arrested for investigation of drug distribution and possession of stolen property.

A truck and a scooter that had both been reported stolen were recovered at the residence as well as parts of other vehicles inside the house, Stokes said.

Investigators believe the cars were being taken to a chop shop, where they were disassembled and parts were sold.

Drug paraphernalia was also found in the house, according to police.

Another man at the house, John Archuleta, 37, was arrested for investigation of possession of drug paraphernalia and outstanding warrants.

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