Man arrested for selling drugs, guns out of auto shop in South Salt Lake

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — A man is facing eight felony charges after police say he sold an undercover officer drugs and a handgun out of an auto shop in South Salt Lake.

According to an indictment, authorities received a tip that Luis Miguel Valdes-Rodriguez was selling weapons and drugs out of Kali Auto, located at 547 West and 3900 South in South Salt Lake.

The Utah Attorney General’s Secure Strike Force fielded the tip, and an undercover officer was sent to Kali Auto. The undercover officer spoke with Rodriguez and negotiated the purchase of a Springfield XD 9mm pistol for $450, which the man produced from a drawer in a desk inside the auto shop.

The undercover officer also arranged the purchased of $100 worth of cocaine, and after that transaction Rodriguez allegedly offered the undercover officer methamphetamine. The officer left after purchasing the handgun and a quantity of both drugs.

On a second visit on March 26, the undercover officer purchased another $100 worth of methamphetamine and $100 worth of cocaine from Rodriguez, and again the drugs were being kept at Kali Auto.

Police executed a search warrant at Kali Auto on April 9, and they found a small bundle of cocaine in the cash register drawer of the office desk. A white plastic envelope was found in the office on a couch printed with “DO NOT REMOVE”. Police opened the envelope and found 15.3 grams of cocaine and 4.1 grams of methamphetamine, the indictment alleges.

Rodriguez was indicted on seven counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute as a second-degree felonies and one count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person as a second-degree felony.