From dime sacks to kilos: The life of a Salt Lake City drug dealer

By: Chris Oregon

From selling a couple ounces of marijuana to meeting up with Mexican cartels; this is the life of a local drug dealer.

When you think of Utah the first thing that most likely comes into mind is “Mormons.” People think of Mormons/Utah and they automatically assume that because of this Utah is a state with no crimes, drugs, etc. Which brings me to Zeta (pseudo name), a local drug dealer who started off selling small amounts of marijuana to his clients in middle school, to buying and selling kilos of cocaine and heroin from infamous Mexican drug cartels.

Zeta started smoking marijuana in middle school. “I used to buy, like, a 20 sack once every other month. After that I started buying once a month,” he says to me. “Then I started buying weekly.”

“I realized how much money I was spending and I started thinking about my dealer. I wondered how much money he was making,” he says. “I knew I wasn’t his only client and I was spending around $30-50 every week. I figured he had several other clients so I knew he had to be making good money.”

Zeta’s friend Compa talked to me about how he knew from the beginning that Zeta would get into the drug dealing market. “Zeta was always a smart guy growing up. That m*****f***** was the first to find out that there was ‘good’ and ‘bad’ weed when we were all just smoking for the hell of it,” Compa says.

Once Zeta found out about different strands of marijuana he started growing more curious. He quickly found out that some strands were worth more than others. Zeta then started talking to his dealer about getting into the business and soon enough he was out on the streets dealing. At first he would only sell to his close friends. After that he started selling to new customers and his clientele kept growing over the next few years.

“Sh*t, man, sophomore year of high school I’d like to say that I was kind of a big deal,” he says sarcastically. “Nah just playin’ but I for real was making a couple thousand dollars a month which was nice.”

“So when’d you start selling the ‘heavy’ drugs?” I asked.

“I wasn’t selling anything other than weed up until summer going into my junior year of high school. My dealer started getting me into the big leagues at that time,” says Zeta.

“What did you start selling that summer?” I asked eagerly.

“You name it, homie. I was selling weed, coke, molly, heroin, ecstasy, shrooms,” he says. “That’s when I started making REAL money!” he says while laughing.

“How much were you making?”

“However much I wanted, honestly bruh. On a sh*tty month I’d make around 3 racks,” he says in a cocky tone. “But that was only the beginning. After I was in the big leagues I became addicted,” he says, “addicted to the money, not the drugs!” he says while laughing.

“What exactly do you mean?” I asked.

“Pusha T said it best in his song ‘cause he says, ‘dope is like a two-way street, the addiction both you and me’ and that line right there is as real as it gets!” he says in excitement. “The reason that line is so real is because that’s what it’s like being in this business. You can give zero f*cks about your clients ‘cause all you care about is that cash you carry around in your pockets.”

Zeta tells me how he meets up with Mexican cartels like it’s no big deal. He talks to me about the meet-ups with the cartels. While explaining this he seems casual, almost as if these meetings were like getting lunch with a friend, kind of like it isn’t really a big deal.

“At first I was kind of scared to do these meet-ups but then I got over it. You kind of have to get over any fear quick in this business or else you won’t succeed,” he says. “I’ve met up with some infamous cartels; some have even hung out with El Chapo. It wasn’t really scary though, even though they all carried huge guns, they were just normal guys.”

“Do you care about the lives’ of your clients?” I asked.

“Nah bruh. It’s their choice to come to me for that sh*t,” he says with no expression. “I don’t go out of my way to contact them asking if they want my sh*t. That’s on them, they’re the ones coming to me for that… all I care about is the money.”

“So are drugs the only business you’re in?” I asked.

“Yeah, but this is just temporary. Did I tell you about how I also sold guns for a good minute?” he says to me in excitement.

“No, how’d you get into that?”

“When I got into the big leagues I got in touch with some big people in the black market for weapons. They told me how much money I could make selling guns so I gave it a run,” says Zeta.

He tells me how he was selling guns for a couple months but then decided to give it up. He gave it up because it was a lot more risky than selling drugs.

We then go back to talking about drug dealing.

“Do you ever plan on quitting?” I asked curiously.

“Yeah, but it’s hard to make this much money when you’re a high school drop-out and have zero intentions of going back to school,” he says in a somber tone.

“What are your plans then?”

“I just want to make as much money as possible right now, save up and then get out of this crazy lifestyle. You pretty much have to sleep with one eye open and you become overprotective of yourself and the ones you love,” he says.

“What’s your main goal in life?” I asked.

“I just want to have a wife and kids and be able to provide for them with ease. I want to send my kids to college, live in a nice house, drive a nice car,” he says with a big smile on his face.

Zeta goes on to tell me how that’s one thing people always forget when it comes to drug dealing. “Most people assume that drug dealers and gang members are just looking for trouble but we’re just trying to get paid like everyone else. Just ask them what their dreams are, what their goals are,” he says angrily. “A lot of them will tell you the same thing; they want a family, nice house and car, send their kids to college. Now you tell me, what’s so “gangster” about that? If you ask a middle-class white family they’ll most likely say the exact same thing.”