Boyles on Utah drug busts: "[T]here's not an Anglo hand touchin' that stuff till it hits the streets"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On his November 20 show, 630 KHOW-AM's Peter Boyles discussed with a caller a recent Salt Lake City drug sting in which police apprehended 68 undocumented immigrants, baselessly suggesting that U.S. drug trafficking "is now controlled" by illegal immigrants. He further stated that "there's not an Anglo hand touchin' that stuff till it hits the streets." However, news reports of the busts did not indicate whether the immigrants taken into custody by federal officials were charged with drug distribution, or whether any of the 87 people arrested for distribution were "Anglo."

Discussing a recent Salt Lake City drug sting operation with a caller on his November 20 broadcast, Peter Boyles suggested that "the narcotics trafficking in United States of America today is now controlled" by illegal immigrants. The 630 KHOW-AM host added that "the old so-called European-style organized crime, Italian Sicilians, they're pushed out. ... The alleged biker gangs, quote, unquote, that used to control the meth traffic, they're out. They're gone. The pot trade, I don't know -- certainly heroin, cocaine. I mean, look, there's not an Anglo hand touchin' that stuff till it hits the streets."

Boyles was responding to a caller's statement that recently in downtown Salt Lake City "they had six days of drug busts, and in that amount of time they had arrested over 650 people for either dealing, selling, or using drugs in that area. And what I thought was very interesting was, out of the 87 people arrested for drug dealing, 68 of them were illegals." Boyles responded, "Sure. Why are you shocked?"

As the Deseret Morning News of Salt Lake City reported on November 14, "Salt Lake City police teamed up with federal Immigration and state Corrections officials for six days last week in an intense effort to clean up the area around Pioneer Park. The result was 658 people arrested in the area from State Street to 600 West and from North Temple to 600 South." The article further reported:

Eighty-seven of those arrests were for investigation of drug distribution and 165 for investigation of people trying to buy drugs.

[...]

A total of 68 people had federal holds placed on them for being undocumented aliens."

The Salt Lake Tribune similarly reported, "Of those arrested, 87 were charged with distributing a controlled substance and 165 on drug-solicitation charges." The Tribune further noted, "Police also apprehended 68 undocumented immigrants with criminal warrants who are now in the custody of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] officers and will likely be deported."

Neither article indicated whether the immigrants taken into custody by ICE were charged with drug distribution, or whether any of those arrested for distribution were "Anglo," which the Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines as "a white inhabitant of the United States of non-Hispanic descent."

From the November 20 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

BOYLES: Let's go to [caller] in Denver; [caller], you're on 630 KHOW, good morning.

CALLER: Good morning, Peter.

BOYLES: Hey [caller], speak up real loud.

CALLER: Can you hear me better?

BOYLES: There you go.

CALLER: OK. Last week I was in Salt Lake, and you were talking about a gentleman you might have on from Salt Lake, and --

BOYLES: Mmm-hmm.

CALLER: -- I thought you might be interested in asking him about this story that was on the news there: a six-block, six-by-six square block area of downtown, they had six days of drug busts, and in that amount of time they had arrested over 650 people for either dealing, selling, or using drugs in that area. And what I thought was very interesting was, out of the 87 people arrested for drug dealing, 68 of them were illegals.

BOYLES: Sure. Why are you shocked?

CALLER: I mean, I'm in Salt Lake City, of all places.

BOYLES: No, I mean, but you asked -- I mean, why are you shocked?

CALLER: Well, I --

BOYLES: I mean, right now --

CALLER: -- more evidence of --

BOYLES: But you're right. I mean, the narcotics trafficking in United States of America today is now controlled -- the old so-called European-style organized crime, Italian Sicilians, they're pushed out.

CALLER: Yeah.

BOYLES: The alleged biker gangs, quote, unquote, that used to control the meth traffic, they're out. They're gone. The pot trade, I don't know -- certainly heroin, cocaine. I mean, look, there's not an Anglo hand touchin' that stuff till it hits the streets.

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