Sergio Alejandro Lopez Sentenced In U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on September 26, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, SERGIO ALEJANDRO LOPEZ, a 37-year-old resident of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 130 months
Special Assessment: $200
Supervised Release: 5 years
LOPEZ was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to (2) counts of distribution of methamphetamine.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. Thaggard, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In January 2011, a confidential informant (hereafter "the CI") in Great Falls worked under the direction and supervision of Central Montana Drug Task Force (CMDTF) agents to investigate drug trafficking in Great Falls;
In that capacity, the CI made several phone calls to LOPEZ, who was living outside the State of Montana. LOPEZ agreed to mail methamphetamine to the CI in Great Falls in exchange for the CI sending money to LOPEZ by Western Union.
As part of this plan, on January 19, 2011, the CI sent two Western Union wires to LOPEZ in the amounts of $500 and $600.
LOPEZ, or a person acting at his behest, then mailed a package to the CI in Great Falls. On January 20, 2011, agents seized approximately 31.2 grams of purported methamphetamine found in the package mailed to the CI.
Subsequently, the CI set up another postal delivery of methamphetamine by LOPEZ. On January 29, 2011, two Western Union wires in the amounts of $500 and $600 were sent to LOPEZ to purchase the methamphetamine. LOPEZ, or persons acting at his behest, then mailed a package of methamphetamine to the CI in Great Falls.
On January 31, 2011, agents seized approximately 34.8 grams of purported methamphetamine sent to the CI by LOPEZ, or persons working at his direction.
The substances seized on January 20 and January 31, 2011, were submitted to Drug Enforcement Administration's Western Region Laboratory for chemical analysis by a qualified forensic chemist. That analysis revealed each package contained five or more grams of actual (pure) methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
The material in the packages seized on January 20 and 31, 2011, was also submitted to the DEA laboratory for latent fingerprint analysis by a qualified fingerprint examiner. The examination disclosed that a latent fingerprint lifted from material contained in the package seized on January 20, 2011, matched LOPEZ's known fingerprints.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that LOPEZ will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, LOPEZ does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Russell County Drug Task Force.