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Federal judge grants bail for Border agent Noe Lopez snared in drug trafficking case

December 25, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal judge grants bail for Border agent Noe Lopez snared in drug trafficking case (AFP/Getty Images)

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A federal judge in San Diego awarded bail on Thursday to U.S. Border Patrol agent Noe Lopez who is accused of smuggling backpacks that he thought were packed with drugs across the border.

Lopez, a 10-year veteran with Border Patrol who worked at the Imperial Beach station, is required to post $200,000 bail secured by a property. He is also ordered to wear a GPS monitor and must surrender his firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Heyman contended at the hearing that Lopez was a flight risk and should not be released from custody.

As JammedUp News previously reported, Noe Lopez was apprehended on December 14th after a two-month undercover operation.

Heyman informed the judge that Lopez randomly met someone at a party and the two began a friendship. Lopez later boasted about how effortless it was for him to smuggle drugs that were staged at the border fence and he then offered to go into business together.

The man went to the U.S. DEA with the information and became a confidential informant. He then collaborated with detectives and helped stage the two transactions with Lopez, Heyman stated.

Noe Lopez is accused of taking the source on a tour of the border fence — both from the U.S. side and the Mexico side — to show where the perfect spots are to leave drug loads and where the sensors and cameras were placed, Heyman added.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, On December 6th and 8th, Lopez said he would pick up backpacks at sites along the border fence while on he was working. Undercover operatives placed the bags there and filled them with fake cocaine and meth.

Lopez picked up both bags and delivered them to the source in his personal car after work.

He was paid $10,000 for his role, prosecutors stated.

Heyman added that the evidence gathered thus far suggests that Lopez may have perpetrated similar acts in the past.

In one text with the confidential source, Lopez urged him to trust him because it could be a profitable partnership. “He said, ‘Trust me, we’ll start small, I’ll prove myself, and we’ll keep building up,’” Heyman told the court.

Lopez’s defense lawyer, Sara Peloquin, told the judge that her client had lived in San Diego his whole life, is a former Marine, and has three children here, thus, he does not pose as a flight risk.

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