SALT LAKE CITY–A Utah woman – the lead defendant in a drug trafficking ring responsible for distributing more than 99 pounds of methamphetamine in Utah, Idaho and other locations – will spend 20 years in federal prison following her conviction for methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering.
Tiffany Scott Spevak, 39, of Salt Lake City, admitted that she conspired with others from about January 2014 through October 2016 to procure methamphetamine in Arizona and California and distribute it to customers in Utah, Idaho and other locations. “Spevak and her fellow criminals preyed on drug addicts in multiple states for their own greed without any remorse for the lives they destroyed,” said Steven W. Cagen, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “HSI continues to identify distributors to dismantle criminal organizations and stop the flow of dangerous drugs into our communities.”
Spevak admitted that more than 99 pounds of methamphetamine were distributed during the conspiracy period. She directed other individuals to get methamphetamine and to distribute it during the conspiracy period. Investigators involved in the case estimate that the group distributed between 250 and 500 pounds of methamphetamine.
Spevak also admitted that those involved in the conspiracy engaged in financial transactions knowing the property involved in these transactions represented proceeds from unlawful activity – distributing methamphetamine in this case – with the intent to continue this unlawful activity.
Acting on information provided by an individual arrested in Washington, HSI special agents interviewed Spevak at her home in January 2016 and found $37,000 during a search of her residence. A narcotics K-9 alerted on items in the home. Agents also found postal express mail envelopes and a small roll of green shrink wrap in a closet. Spevak initially told them the materials were from 2012 and were used by her significant other, Hugo Tapia-Mendoza, who is currently incarcerated in another federal drug case. During a later interview, Spevak told agents that after Tapia was arrested, she began to contact individuals who worked for Tapia who connected her with individuals who sold her methamphetamine.
Criminal cases are pending for the following four other defendants:
- Carlos Rafael Cota-Escalante, 53, of Phoenix, Arizona, is charged in the indictment with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He is in federal custody.
- Stephen Scott Spevak, 62, (Tiffany Scott Spevak’s father) of Idaho, is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering. He is on pretrial release.
- An arrest warrant is pending for Carlos Rafael Cota-Llanes, 31, of Phoenix, who is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
- Shanna Walter, 42, of Salt Lake County, is charged with money laundering and is on pretrial release.
In a related case in Idaho, Ryan Dalley of Pocatello, Idaho, who worked with Tiffany Spevak to get methamphetamine in Los Angeles and Phoenix for distribution in Idaho and Montana, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison in September. At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill noted he has presided over a significant share of the drug sentencings in federal court in Pocatello in the past 24 years, and he believed Dalley’s drug trafficking organization is “one of, if not the largest, drug trafficking operation in Eastern Idaho.”