Previously deported illegal alien arrested for allegedly dealing meth in Utah — media still tries to hide immigration status

News & Politics

An illegal alien with multiple deportations to his name has been arrested in connection with approximately 50 pounds of methamphetamine seized in the Salt Lake City area.

Last month, Fermin Castro Tovar, a 25-year-old Mexican national in the U.S. illegally, came on the radar of local law enforcement after he allegedly “delivered controlled substances” to a police source, a probable cause statement said. A GPS tracker was then surreptitiously placed on Tovar’s vehicle, and officers quickly learned he made frequent visits to an apartment where he does not reside.

Ksl.com and ABC4 mentioned nothing about his immigration status until the final paragraph of their respective stories.

On Thursday, federal and local agents were issued three search warrants in connection with Tovar. This first warrant permitted them to search a storage unit, where agents allegedly discovered 25 lbs. of meth.

As Tovar drove home from work that day, agents pulled him over and arrested him without incident.

They then shared with Tovar that they had discovered meth at his storage unit. Rather than deny anything or demand a lawyer, he apparently became quite cooperative. Not only did he allegedly inform investigators that they would find another six pounds of meth at his main residence, prompting a second search warrant, but he even reportedly copped to his role in an international drug-running scheme.

He acknowledged that he was “being coordinated and directed by a source of supply in Mexico,” the arrest report said. “He admitted to distributing methamphetamine about two times a week in the Salt Lake County area.”

Tovar also allegedly admitted to investigators that the apartment he visits is yet another place to store meth. No one lives there, he said. Agents then got a third warrant to search the apartment, where they reportedly seized another 20 pounds of meth.

“Castro Tovar admitted having access to all three locations, and being responsible and temporary owner of all the methamphetamine seized. He was the person directly in contact with the sources of supply to pick up the methamphetamine and distribute it throughout the area,” arresting documents said.

Tovar was ultimately charged with three felony counts of second-degree distribution of a controlled substance and booked into Salt Lake City Jail, where is now held without bail. He is also considered a flight risk because he has family in Mexico and a “history of deportation,” the Gephardt Daily reported, so ICE has issued an immigration detainer against him.

Despite his previous deportations and the seriousness of the accusations against him, several media outlets have still seemingly buried the news about his legal status. A quick internet search revealed that at least three Utah outlets covered the Tovar story, and none of them mentioned his status in their headlines.

In fact, Ksl.com and ABC4 mentioned nothing about his immigration status until the final paragraph of their respective stories. The Gephardt Daily, by contrast, made frequent references to Tovar’s immigration status and noted that he speaks only Spanish. However, even the Daily referred to Tovar simply as a “northern Utah man” in its lede paragraph.

Thomas Stevenson, the politics editor with the Post Millennial, called out Ksl.com for its framing of the Tovar story, accusing the outlet of “providing cover for Utah’s immigration policy failures.”

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