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Owner of El Paso trucking company sentenced to 24 years for running marijuana smuggling enterprise

June 4, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Owner of El Paso trucking company sentenced to 24 years for running marijuana smuggling enterprise

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The owner of a trucking company in El Paso was sentenced to over twenty years in prison for his role in a marijuana smuggling enterprise.

According to a Justice Department press release, David Lopez, 56, was sentenced to over 24 years behind bars after he was found guilty by a jury on one count each of conspiring to possess more than 1,000 kilos of marijuana and possession of over 100 kilos of marijuana.

Lopez also was penalized $50,000 and must relinquish proceeds and property acquired from his drug smuggling organization, including $2.4 million, tractor-trailers, personal cars, and his home, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The business owner was accused of smuggling marijuana from El Paso to cities throughout the U.S. The operation lasted from 2001 until August 2015.

“With this conviction, the DEA and law enforcement partners are working to have a positive impact at the local level,” Will R. Glaspy, special agent in charge of the U.S. DEA’s El Paso Division, announced in a statement. “We are sending a unified message that drug dealing will not be tolerated, and, in turn, we are making communities safer.”

Commercial tractor-trailers driven by Lopez and other employees were used to ship the drugs.

DEA agents linked significant marijuana seizures in Kansas, Alamogordo, Abilene and Sierra Blanca, Texas, to Lopez’s marijuana smuggling enterprise.

Agents seized over 3,300 kilos of marijuana.

Lopez tried to hire an informant and an undercover officer to smuggle the drugs for him,

Lopez also was pulled over by police in Clark County in 2010 where officers reportedly discovered $130,000 in his suitcase.

Officials said that Lopez rejected any knowledge of the money, but a search of his residence conducted by officers in 2015 revealed a safe belonging to Lopez with $53,00 that was packaged similarly to the money recovered in 2010.

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