Violent Gangs Invade Utah Ski Country


A Utah police detective found graffiti left by two feuding gangs in ski country, says the Salt Lake Tribune. “I don’t think people view this area as someplace where gang members would come,” said the detective. Summit County, like other rural areas in Utah, is feeling a trickle-down effect from gang activity in Salt Lake County. That is one reason Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. announced the formation of a statewide gang task force.

Known for its posh ski resorts and glitzy film festivals, the county is seeing more crime linked to the underbelly of the gang lifestyle. Such crimes include two gang-related homicides in the past five years, the armed robbery of an ice cream shop by gang members a year and a half ago, the stabbing of a man by a 17-year-old female gang member, and at least one rape case at a hotel attributed to gangsters. Lured by selling drugs to a market saturated with tourists and wealthy residents, gangs increased visibility in Summit County 18 months ago. Some members have tourism-related jobs such as working as hotel shuttle drivers to make drug sales easier. Others brought gang culture with them from California or the Midwest when moving to the area. Salt Lake City and Ogden gangsters also commute to the county for “business,” bringing violence with them.


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