Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 01, 2012

NATIVE OF EL SALVADOR SENTENCED ON FEDERAL DRUG AND WEAPON CHARGES

          TYLER, TX – A 42 year old native of El Salvador has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking and weapons violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Jose Lopez, a citizen of El Salvador currently residing in Tyler, Texas, pleaded guilty on May 21, 2012, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Lopez was sentenced to 228 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $50,000 today during a hearing before United States District Judge Michael H. Schneider.

            According to information presented in court, Lopez conspired to possess, possessed and distributed methamphetamine, along with his co-defendants.  Lopez also admitted to possessing and carrying a firearm during and in relation to the possession and distribution of   methamphetamine. Lopez, along with two co-defendants, was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 11, 2012. 

            Lopez’s co-defendant, Jorge Sanchez, was also sentenced today to 30 months in prison. The remaining co-defendant, Francisco Soriano, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine on September 21, 2012 and is currently awaiting sentencing.

            This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Tyler Police Department and Smith County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bill Baldwin.

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