News Release
April 29, 2008
PIO Michael J. Root
Number: 801-524-5031

Colorado State Board of Education Employee
Arrested for Marijuana Distribution

APR 29 -- DENVER -- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United States Attorney’s Offices in Idaho and Colorado, have announced today that VALENCIA DARLENE LOPEZ (VALENCIA LOPEZ), age 36, of Aurora, Colorado, surrendered to authorities in Idaho today after being indicted for marijuana trafficking by a federal grand jury in Idaho.  LOPEZ is an employee of the Colorado State Board of Education in Denver.  She is scheduled to make her initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Pocatello, Idaho this afternoon, where she will be advised of the charges pending against her.

        According to the indictment, beginning in 1993, and continuing through April 7, 2008, LOPEZ conspired with others to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana.  In addition to the conspiracy charge, LOPEZ faces three counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  The possession with intent to distribute offenses were alleged to have taken place on January 1, 2008, February 7, 2008, and April 7, 2008.

        If convicted, the defendant faces not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years imprisonment, as well as a $2,000,000 fine for conspiracy.  She also faces not more than 5 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine, for each of the three counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

        This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Idaho, and the Idaho State Police.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Fica in Idaho.