Police: 3 arrested in Weber County sting after trying to sell 6 pounds of methamphetamine to informant

From left, Juan Avila, Jorge Andrade and Carlos Valdez. Photos: Weber County

WEST HAVEN, Utah, Feb. 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Three men were booked into the Weber County Jail after officials say they sold an illegal substance to an informant.

In a sting operation, a confidential informant hired and trained by members of the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force met the men outside a Denny’s on 21st Street and 12th West in West Haven, just west of Ogden. The men allegedly agreed to sell about six pounds of methamphetamine to the informant, a probable cause statement says.

The men — identified as 19-year-old Juan Antonio Avila, 27-year-old Jorge L. Andrade and 18-year-old Carlos Delmazo Valdez — each were charged on Thursday with one count of distributing/offering/arranging distribution of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony.

In addition, Valdez faces a charge of purchase/transport/possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.

Alleged chain of events

Jorge Andrade. Photo: Weber County

A probable cause statement for Andrade says that an informant arranged to purchase five pounds of meth from three men in a white Nissan Titan, Utah plate X08-6PV.

The men in the Titan then followed the informant from an undisclosed location in Salt Lake City to a Denny’s parking lot at 21st Street at 12th West in West Haven, for the drug buy. The informant was told the meth was being transported there in a different vehicle.

The CI (confidential informant) told the agent that Jorge Andrade was the person in charge of the deal, the probable cause statement says.

“CI told your affiant that Jorge (Andrade) spoke to him/her about the quantity of Meth and the money needed for the transaction … CI was told the meth would arrive in a separate car and they waited until the car arrived.”

The probable cause statement for Avila says that, post-Miranda, he told officers he “had received a call from somebody who he runs methamphetamine for, picked the methamphetamine up in the parking lot of Crown Burger in Layton, then given the methamphetamine to another individual to transport to Ogden so he would not be at risk while transporting it.”

Avila also told officers he had more meth in the bedroom of his residence. It was retrieved after a search warrant was obtained.

Carlos Valdez. Photo: Weber County

Carlos Valdez said he had been contacted by two individuals who asked him to help them with something, according to Valdez’s probable cause statement. Valdez said he “followed those two individuals to an unknown residence, where they took a backpack belonging to Carlos into the home and returned with it, placing it into Carlos’ vehicle.

Carlos was told by the two males to drive to Denny’s. Carlos looked in the backpack and observed the narcotics and proceeded to drive to Denny’s.”

Juan Avila. Photo: Weber County

According to officials, Avila was in the backseat of Valdez’s Volkswagen when it pulled up in the Denny’s parking lot.

In the Denny’s parking lot, a “Volkswagen license plate #N816F arrived,” the statement for Andrade says.

Andrade instructed the informant to “go to the Volkswagen to see the drugs. CI saw the suspected Meth and gave the predetermined takedown signal. Five packages containing a crystal substance suspected to be Meth was found in the Volkswagen. It appeared to be five pounds of Meth to your affiant.

“Juan Avila was identified as the individual who flashed the CI the suspected Meth in the Volkswagen. Your Affiant interviewed Juan and he stated that Jorge (Andrade) was the person who arranged this drug transaction.”

Andrade invoked his right to remain silent on scene, the statement says.

All three men are being held without bail.

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