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4 charged with bringing meth, heroin into Utah from L.A.

SALT LAKE CITY — Four men accused of transporting methamphetamine and heroin from Los Angeles for distribution in Utah are facing federal charges.

A grand jury returned a seven-count indictment this week against four men, all citizens of Mexico living in West Valley City: Fausto Alejandro Galaviz-Gaxiola, 21; Fernando Galaviz-Castro, 22; Jesus Pina-Cantua, 22; and Efrain Espinoza Garcia.

Investigators who suspected the men were trafficking drugs began a joint investigation in October between the Drug Enforcement Administration and a Davis County task force. Throughout the investigation, multiple undercover purchases were made from the men, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A search warrant executed Feb. 18 at the home of Galaviz-Gaxiola, Galaviz-Castro and Pina-Cantua turned up about 4.8 kilograms of heroin with a street value of $480,000, and 2.1 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of $126,000, according to investigators. An additional 615 grams of cocaine, worth about $61,500, was discovered in a car the men allegedly used.

Investigators also searched Espinoza's home and car, where they found "$8,000 in a sophisticated, electronically operated compartment hidden on the front passenger side of his car," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The four men are charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; conspiracy to distribute heroin; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute heroin; and three counts of distribution of methamphetamine. They have pleaded not guilty and were ordered to remain in jail while they await trial.

The men are facing up to 40 years in prison with a potential five-year mandatory minimum for the methamphetamine distribution charges.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero