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Jail Records Show Arrests On Rio Grande Mostly Low-level Offenses

Lee Hale / KUER

Jail records show few arrests in the Rio Grande neighborhood have been for violent, high-level offenses.

Only three of more than 1000 arrests on Rio Grande were for first-degree felonies according to records obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune. That includes crimes like aggravated robbery. Although more than 200 arrests did involve lower-level felonies.

On day one of Operation Rio Grande, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox told reporters the arrests targeted the “worst of the worst”. But the numbers show most of the arrests have been for drug use, possession or intent to distribute.  

Operation Rio Grande is expected to continue through the next two years. A Utah Policy poll shows 49 percent of respondents are skeptical that the operation will solve the homeless problem. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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