November 9, 2012
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
North Carolina Man Sentenced In Tennessee On Methamphetamine Charge
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge sentenced Fernando Lopez, 30, of Asheville, N.C., to serve 135 months in federal prison for his role in methamphetamine trafficking.
In March 2012 Lopez distributed four ounces of methamphetamine to an individual working on the behalf of law enforcement in Greeneville, Tenn. During a subsequent conversation between Lopez and this individual, Lopez said that the next deal would have to be for at least nine ounces, or he would not deal with anymore because he typically dealt in much larger quantities. Lab reports showed that the four ounces of methamphetamine had a purity value of 97.6 percent.
Later in March 2012 Lopez agreed to bring one pound of methamphetamine from Asheville, N.C., to Greeneville, Tenn., to sell to the same individual. Surveillance agents followed Lopez as he left his residence in Asheville on his way to Greeneville. An officer with the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) signaled Lopez to pull over. Instead, Lopez accelerated through a parking lot in an attempt to evade the police before being arrested moments later. A search of his vehicle revealed one pound of methamphetamine concealed in a natural void located under the right rear arm rest. Lab reports showed that the one pound of methamphetamine had a purity value of 90.9 percent.
Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to the indictment and subsequent conviction of Lopez include the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force Johnson City, THP-Interdiction Plus, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Third Judicial Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force North Carolina and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.