PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT
March 22, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact Information: PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com
SLCPD Airport Officers Seize 1/2 Pound of Crystal Meth
SALT LAKE CITY — Today, officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Airport Division seized just over a half pound of crystal methamphetamine illegally concealed inside two peanut butter jars.
This investigation started at 10:27 a.m. on Thursday, May 11, 2023, when the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) notified officers at the airport about a suspicious item found during routine screening.
TSA officials initially found a regular, consumer-sized, peanut butter jar filled with a crystalized substance.
SLCPD Airport officers secured the luggage and detained two people as part of their investigation.
Officers, working with the SLCPD’s full-time detective assigned to the Airport Division, got a court-authorized search warrant. During a search of the traveler’s belongings, officers found a total of two peanut butter jars with crystal methamphetamine concealed inside.
The methamphetamine weighed just over a half pound.
Officers took both people back to the Airport Operations Center to process the evidence and interview the two passengers.
Officers arrested 61-year-old Melissa Hoching, took her to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail and booked her on a charge of distribution of a controlled substance.
Officers released the other person initially detained.
“We will not allow our airport to be used as a gateway for drug smuggling,” said SLCPD Chief Mike Brown. “The officers of the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Airport Division will continue to do everything in their power to disrupt drug trafficking. We are proud to have strong partnerships with the TSA and other federal agencies; and we are united in our efforts to help ensure the safety of the Salt Lake City International Airport.”
Photos of the methamphetamine seized are being released. Media may use these photos with credit to the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Salt Lake City Police Department is not the custodian of record for jail booking photos. Utah Code 17-22-30 mostly prohibits the release of jail booking photos. Generally, a jail booking photo can only be released by the custodian of record after a conviction or when law enforcement determines the person is a fugitive or an imminent threat to a person or public safety. In Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is the custodian of record for jail booking photos.
1- A photo of a peanut butter jar with a bag, contain meth, sits on a police evidence shelf (May 11, 2023 | SLCPD).
2- A photo of a peanut butter jar with a bag, contain meth, sits on a police evidence shelf (May 11, 2023 | SLCPD).