Trucking Owner Gets 24 Years for Drug Smuggling
The owner of an El Paso-based trucking company was recently sentenced to 24 years in prison for his involvement in a drug-smuggling operation.
David Lopez was convicted by a jury in January on multiple counts of conspiracy to possess marijuana and possession of marijuana. In addition to serving his sentence, the 56-year-old was fined $50,000.
Lopez must forfeit any property derived from the operation, including various tractor-trailers, his home, and $2.4 million.
The US Attorney’s Office said Lopez had transported marijuana from El Paso to multiple cities across the country in an operation that ran from 2001 to 2015.
The drugs had been smuggled by Lopez himself, as well as other drivers he had hired. Agents seized over 3,300 kilograms (almost 7,300 pounds) of marijuana.
Lopez’s case was made even more severe after it was revealed he had attempted to acquire the services of a law enforcement informant and an undercover police officer to help with the operation.
Truck driving is an industry where smuggling operations are not unheard of. Earlier this year, Arkansas police arrested a trucker for transported over 262 pounds of methamphetamine earlier this year, the largest bust in the state’s history.
In late 2016, police in Connecticut had a similar bust when they arrested a trucker for hauling 55 pounds of fentanyl. This powerful synthetic opioid has a potency 50 times greater than that of heroin. The load was equivalent to over 7 million lethal doses, roughly twice the state’s population.