FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2020
DRUG AND PROSTITUTION RING BUSTED BY UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S SECURE STRIKE FORCE AND SLC POLICE
Salt Lake City Motel Was Known for Illegal Activity
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office, working jointly with the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Units, has charged the owner and manager of the City Inn Motel (935 North 1000 West in Salt Lake City) with multiple felonies in a case involving drug activity, money laundering and prostitution.
Motel owner Rezvan Saisani has been charged with Money Laundering, Exploiting Prostitution, and Pattern of Unlawful Activity. Sameer Syed, who helped manage the City Inn Motel, was also charged in the same case. Charges were filed Tuesday afternoon following an extensive investigation that took place after receiving complaints from neighbors in the area. View the charging documents here.
Investigators organized various surveillance and undercover operations at the motel over the past month. Investigators found evidence that Saisani and Syed were not only aware of the prostitution and drug trafficking at their business but actively encouraged such activity in order to benefit financially.
Investigators learned Saisani and Syed would collect “visitor fees” from those who visited the motel, including for commercial sex or drug purchases. Undercover agents posed as commercial sex purchasers to see how Saisani and Syed would respond. Each time, Saisani and Syed collected visitor fees from the undercover agents, even when agents made it very obvious that they were only visiting the motel for illegal purposes. During one exchange, Saisani directed an undercover agent to the north side of the motel because the “better girls” were located there.
“The owners and operators of illicit ‘no-tell motels’ enable crimes like human trafficking and fuel the market for commercial sex,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “These businesses are tough to investigate and prosecute because it takes an enormous effort to link the criminal activity on the ground to the person at the top collecting money. We know there are a lot of these businesses out there and hope this case will serve as a model for law enforcement agencies to stop similar operations throughout the state.”
Reports of human trafficking and related crimes can be made to the Utah Trafficking in Persons Tip Line at 801-200-3443.