News Release
September 10, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Participant in Drug Trafficking Organization
Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison

SEP 10 -- TUCSON, Ariz. - On September 8, 2010, the Honorable Frank R. Zapata sentenced Eduardo Lopez, 33, of Amado, Ariz., to eight years imprisonment for Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Approximately 12,906 Kilograms of Marijuana between February of 2007 and June of 2008.

        The defendant was part of a drug trafficking organization responsible for transporting multi-ton quantities of marijuana from Mexico into the United States. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized in excess of 28,000 pounds of marijuana. The organization, utilizing tractor- trailers, brought multi-ton shipments of marijuana into the United States from Mexico via ports of entry located in Ariz. The shipments were then trans-loaded from the Mexican tractor-trailers to domestic tractor-trailers at various warehouses located in Nogales and Rio Rico, Ariz. The marijuana loads were then driven to Tucson or Phoenix and eventually to cities throughout the United States.

        Eduardo Lopez’ role in the drug trafficking organization was to coordinate the shipment of the multi-ton marijuana loads once they arrived in the United States. He would secure drivers, tractor-trailers, warehouses and workers to aid in trans-loading the marijuana and performing counter-surveillance.

        Eduardo Lopez was one of 22 defendants indicted for their participation in the conspiracy.  Eighteen defendants have resolved their cases short of trial and three defendants, Gregorio LOPEZ-Rodriguez, Jesus COTA-Ibarra, and Jose Pastor MENDEZ-Huerta, are fugitives believed to be in Mexico.

        The investigation leading to the conviction was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Border Patrol, Tucson Counter Narcotics Alliance, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the South Tucson Police Department.  The prosecution was handled by James T. Lacey and Joseph W. Hanley, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.

        The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Mesa Police, Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Phoenix Police Department.  The prosecution was handled by Steven P. Logan, Jane E. McLaughlin, and James B. Morse Jr., Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

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