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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Utah
Trina A. Higgins, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 27, 2023

Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 120 Months Imprisonment Following Exchange of Gunfire With SWAT and Seizure of Narcotics

Salt Lake City, Utah – A Utah man was sentenced today to 10 years’ imprisonment for possessing and intending to distribute methamphetamine and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, where a SWAT officer and the defendant were shot and injured in the District of Utah.

According to court documents, Sean Dejesus Darragh, 54, of Sandy, Utah, admitted that on September 8, 2021, while possessing more than 50 grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, he carried a Canik, Model TP9 Elite Combat, 9mm pistol, with ammunition. He further admitted, that during the execution of a search warrant by officers with the Sandy City Police Department SWAT, he fired shots as they entered his home. The exchange of gunfire between Darragh and officers led to the injury of a SWAT officer and Darragh.

“The impact of this drug trafficking crime could have been far worse,” said U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins of the District of Utah. “The U.S. Attorney’s office will remain vigilant in working with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers who pose a threat in our community.”

"The combination of illegal firearms and illicit drugs in the hands of a prohibited felon poses a grave threat to not only our communities, but also our law enforcement partners every day,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Brent Beavers. “We are grateful for the US Attorney’s Office prosecutorial success which will now hold this violent felon accountable for his reckless and dangerous actions.”

The case was investigated jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Sandy City Police Department and the Salt Lake City Police Department, who had the primary role in the investigation per Salt Lake County officer-involved shooting protocols.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Stewart M. Young and Stephen L. Nelson of the District of Utah prosecuted the case.

This case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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