Utah County detectives arrest man allegedly transporting over $850K in drugs, with son in car

Jose Olegario Lopez. Photo Courtesy: Utah County Sheriff's Office

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 14, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah County detectives arrested a man who was allegedly transporting over $850,000 in drugs — with his 16-year-old son in the car.

Detectives with the Utah County Special Enforcement Team made the arrest Saturday following an investigation regarding the trafficking of illegal narcotics, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Detectives from several agencies and deputies with UCSO attempted to stop a car driven by Jose Olegario Lopez, 44, of Salt Lake City, for traffic violations, the news release said.

“Lopez did not stop until other deputies and detectives surrounded his car,” the statement said. “Because he failed to respond to the command of peace officers, Lopez was immediately taken into custody and searched. During that search detectives found a small amount of cocaine in a coin pocket in Lopez’s pants.”

A K-9 officer with Spanish Fork Police had his K-9 partner sniff the exterior of the car. The K-9 gave a positive reaction indicating the presence of illegal narcotics.

When detectives conducted a search, they found a sealed box in the car, the news release said. Inside that box they found numerous individually wrapped packages. Detectives found one of the packages contained 2.35 pounds of cocaine. This equates to over 10,500 individual doses with a street value of more than $106,000. Detectives found the remaining packages to contain 16.7 pounds of methamphetamine. This equates to over 75,000 individual doses with a street value of more than $750,000.

Detectives believe the teenage son was not involved with his father in the possession or distribution of these drugs. The son was later released to his mother. Detectives also believe the mother was not involved in the incident.

Detectives contacted agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and confirmed that Lopez is in the United States illegally. ICE Agents confirmed that he has a record of eight aggravated reentry violations.

Lopez was booked into jail on two first-degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute; one second-degree felony charge of child endangerment; one third-degree felony charge of failing to respond to the command of a peace officer and one class A misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

ICE Agents placed a hold on Lopez and a judge ordered that the suspect be held without bail.


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