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El Paso drug trafficker gets 24-year prison term

June 8th, 2017 under Top Stories

EL PASO – An El Paso man was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute thousands of kilograms of marijuana, announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr. and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy, El Paso Division.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Philip R. Martinez ordered 56-year-old David Lopez to pay a $50,000 fine. Judge Martinez also ordered that Lopez forfeit to the Government proceeds and property derived from his drug transportation business including $2.4 million in U.S. currency, various tractor-trailers, personal vehicles, and his residence.

On January 26, 2017, a jury convicted Lopez of one count of conspiracy to possess over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and one count of possession of over 100 kilograms of marijuana. Evidence presented at trial revealed that David Lopez had been transporting marijuana from El Paso to cities in the United States from August 2001 until August 2015. Lopez utilized commercial tractor-trailers driven by himself and other hired drivers.

In total, the DEA was able to connect significant marijuana seizures in Sierra Blanca, Abilene, Alamogordo, New Mexico, and Pratt County, Kansas totaling over 3,300 kilograms of marijuana, to Lopez. Additional evidence was presented that Lopez attempted to hire a confidential source and an undercover officer to transport marijuana for him.

Furthermore, in 2010, Lopez was stopped in Clark County, Kansas. After a canine alerted to his vehicle, officers found $130,000 in his suitcase. Lopez denied any knowledge of the cash, though the cash was packaged similar to the $53,000 cash found in his safe after a search of his residence in 2015.

Lopez has remained in federal custody since his arrest on June 3, 2016.

“With this conviction, DEA and our law enforcement partners are working together to have a positive impact at the local level. We are sending a strong and unified message that drug dealing, at all levels, will not be tolerated, and, in turn, we are making our communities safer,” said Will R. Glaspy, DEA Special Agent in Charge.

This case resulted from an investigation conducted by DEA El Paso, DEA Kansas City, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, El Paso Police Department, Anthony Police Department, United States Border Patrol, Kansas Highway Patrol, Clark County Kansas Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of The Document and Media Exploitation (DOMEX) El Paso Branch.

The DEA El Paso Division encourages parents, and their children to visit the following interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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