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Secure Strike Force arrests man suspected of dealing in drugs, guns

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SALT LAKE CITY – A suspected drug and weapons dealer was arrested and faces the possibility of deportation following a raid by law enforcement officials.

The Secure Strike Force deals with individuals in Utah who entered the country illegally and are committing serious, felony crimes, and the team’s latest efforts resulted in the arrest of Everardo Reina-Soto, who has been jailed in the U.S. before.

Leo Lucey, a section chief with the Secure Strike Force, said drugs were found after a SWAT team descended on the home in a quiet suburban neighborhood where Reina-Soto was staying with a woman and several children.

“Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine was located in the residence, “Lucey said.

The task force has made hundreds of arrests since 2009 in cases ranging from identity fraud to human trafficking. Lucey said the latest arrest, like many others, stemmed from a previous case.

"It's a house that we'd been investigating for the past several months tied to another where we'd purchased weapons and narcotics, tied back to this house,” Lucey said.

Agents said in that earlier case, which took place in March, they bought a handgun from Julio Eugarrio, an ex-convict and alleged gang member known as “Kartoon.” Police said Eugarrio and Reina-Soto are members of the same gang and are committing the same kinds of offenses.

Lucey said when Reina-Soto was arrested, authorities found seven children, all minors, living in the home—sleeping very near a stash of illegal drugs.

“Pretty poor conditions they were living in,” Lucey said. “The house was not well kept. It didn't look like a great place for kids to be.”

Reina-Soto remains jailed on several charges, including aggravated re-entry into the U.S.