January 27, 2017
Contact: Diana Apodaca
Phone Number: (571) 324-6325
Federal Jury Convicts El Paso Drug Trafficker
EL PASO, Texas - An El Paso man faces between ten years and life in federal prison after a federal jury convicted him on multiple drug trafficking charges announced El Paso’s Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge, Will R. Glaspy, and United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.
Following a week-long trial, the jury convicted 56-year-old David Lopez yesterday afternoon 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, Texas 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 historically connect significant marijuana seizures in Sierra Blanca, Texas, Abilene, Texas, Alamogordo, New Mexico and Pratt County, Kansas, totaling over 3,300 kilograms of marijuana.
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 K-9 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.
In a separate forfeiture trial which followed the trial on drug charges, the government presented additional testimony and documents showing that Lopez had acquired and utilized tractor trailers, personal vehicles, and his residence to operate his drug transportation business. Those assets, and others obtained from the money acquired from his illegal transportation of marijuana, were ordered forfeited to the government.
Lopez has remained in federal custody since his arrest on June 3, 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:00am on April 6, 2017, before Judge Philip R. Martinez.
“With this conviction, DEA and our law enforcement partners are working together to have a positive impact at the local level,” said Will R. Glaspy, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “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.”
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 (DOMEX) El Paso Branch.