FBI IDs suspect after police chase in Salt Lake County

Man Tat Le. Photo: Davis County Jail

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Jan. 30, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The FBI has identified a suspect arrested after a police pursuit Wednesday night that began with an attempted traffic stop by a West Valley City officer and ended in Salt Lake City with close to a dozen officers from multiple agencies.

The suspect is Man Tat Le, said a statement from the FBI Salt Lake Division on Thursday.

“Le is the man that members of the FBI’s Safe Street Task Force was attempting to arrest yesterday when he led police on a pursuit that ended in a crash,” the statement said.  “The Safe Streets Task Force is a comprehensive gang and violent crimes investigative collaboration between multiple federal, state, and local agencies.”

Le is facing a charge of distribution of methamphetamine.

Court documents state that on Jan. 22, the State Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with the FBI, conducted a controlled purchase of methamphetamine from Le.

An undercover agent called Le, and a quantity, price and meeting location were agreed upon.

The agent then went to the agreed meeting place in Salt Lake City and Le was waiting by the street, court documents said.

Le entered the agent’s vehicle and allegedly sold him approximately three ounces of methamphetamine. Le exited the vehicle and the agent left, then handed over the purchased narcotics to SBI agents. The narcotics field-tested positive for methamphetamine weighing approximately 88.7 grams.

Le was then located Wednesday night.

Lt. Steve Burke, West Valley City Police Department, said a pursuit of the suspect began at about 10:23 p.m. after an investigator with the FBI asked if the WVCPD could stop a wanted suspect.

“The FBI asked us to help,” Burke told Gephardt Daily. “We tried to make a traffic stop, but the car fled.”

More police joined in as the pursuit continued. By the time it had reached Salt Lake City, at 900 West and 300 North, spike strips had been placed across the roadway.

The car came to a stop after the tires were flattened, Burke said. “The suspect fled on foot, and the officer that initiated the pursuit was a K-9 officer, so I’m guessing the K-9 helped, but it ended when one of the officers tackled the man,” he added.

Le was taken into custody and turned over to FBI officers. Burke said seven WVCPD officers helped in the pursuit, as did additional officers from the FBI and the Salt Lake City Police Department.

No one was hurt, but one police vehicle was damaged, Burke said. The suspect was taken into custody at 10:43 p.m., 20 minutes after the operation began.

West Valley City police chased a suspect wanted by the FBI to Salt Lake City before taking the man into custody on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. Photo: Gephardt Daily

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