Alleged Murderer Charged With Federal Firearms Offense
The man charged by the state with the October 9, 2020 murder of James Faith has now been charged with federal firearm crimes, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
Darrin Ruben Lopez, 48, was charged via criminal complaint Friday with transporting a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to commit a felony offense. Mr. Lopez, currently in the custody of the Dixon County Sherriff’s Office in Tennessee on a Dallas County murder warrant, will make his initial appearance in federal court once he is extradited back to Dallas.
“This defendant allegedly gunned down an innocent man in broad daylight,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “I hope this case makes one thing crystal clear: If you carry a gun across state lines in order to commit violence, you will be subject to federal prosecution.”
“ATF is committed to working with its partners to go after evil amongst us. I am in awe of the meticulous police work performed here by homicide detectives at the Dallas Police Department. Mr. Lopez is alleged to have killed in cold blood. If not for law enforcement determination, he may still be walking the streets among us,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division Jeffrey C. Boshek II.
According to the complaint, on October 8, Mr. Lopez allegedly drove with his .45 caliber handgun from his home in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee to James Faith's home in Dallas, where Mr. Lopez allegedly laid in wait, then shot the victim seven times – three times in the head, three times in the chest, and one time in the groin – before fleeing the scene and returning home.
James Faith was walking his dog with his wife, Jennifer Faith, when he was murdered in the early morning hours of October 9.
A search of Ms. Faith’s cell phone revealed that she and Mr. Lopez had been engaged in what she described to a friend as a “full-blown emotional affair.”
Mr. Lopez’s cell records show the pair were in near constant contact, sending one another hundreds of text messages each day for several months, including in the weeks before and after the murder. However, the afternoon before the murder, the phones suddenly stopped communicating, and did not start communicating again until nine hours after James Faith was killed.
Witnesses to the murder told law enforcement that the shooter was driving a black Nissan Titan with a distinctive white “T” emblem on the left rear windshield.
Agents later observed a black Nissan Titan with a “T” emblem parked on Mr. Lopez’s property in Tennessee. They were also able to trace his route on October 8th and 9th from Tennessee to Texas through cell phone tower data, debit card transactions, Google precision location data, and surveillance video at truck stops.
During the execution of a search warrant on Jan. 11, ATF agents recovered what ballistic tests later proved to be the .45 caliber handgun used to kill James Faith inside Mr. Lopez’s Tennessee residence.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Lopez is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Ms. Faith has not been charged with a criminal offense.*
If convicted of the firearm offense, Mr. Lopez faces up to ten years in federal prison. (He also faces up to life in a state penitentiary on the Dallas County murder charge.)
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division and the Dallas Police Department’s Homicide Unit conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Aviation Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Calvert is prosecuting the case.
*UPDATE: Jennifer Faith was arrested at her home in Oak Cliff on Feb. 24, charged via criminal complaint with obstruction of justice. More information here.