Madras Man Sentenced in Federal Court to Over 11 Years in Prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine
Police Seize Methamphetamine, Handguns, and Cash from Defendant’s Home
PORTLAND, Ore. – Juan Miguel Lopez, 29, of Madras, Oregon, was sentenced on Monday, March 31, 2014, to 135 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez. In December 2013, Lopez pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine. The defendant is currently in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. After Lopez has completed his 135-month prison term, he will be required to serve 5 years of supervised release, during which time he will be prohibited from associating with any gang members.
“Mr. Lopez was a dangerous, armed drug dealer who spread destruction throughout Central Oregon and Warm Springs,” stated U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “The long prison term imposed by Judge Hernandez will protect the public from this prolific drug dealer.”
Lopez, who went by the nickname “Monster,” told police that he was associated with the Mexican Mafia. Prior to this federal case, Lopez had five prior felony convictions for either delivery or possession of drugs. Lopez also has a prior conviction in Jefferson County Circuit Court for reckless endangerment, based on his hurling a bottle at a woman and throwing gang signs at Cove Palisades State Park.
This federal conviction for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine is based on a search warrant executed at Lopez’s home on August 6, 2012, in Madras. During the search warrant, police officers seized approximately one-half pound of methamphetamine, a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, ammunition, scales, drug packaging materials, and $2,655 in cash. Defendant, who was on Jefferson County probation at the time, was arrested that same day.
An investigation by the Warm Springs Police Department’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“HIDTA”) task force revealed that Lopez had been selling drugs around the Madras and Warm Springs areas. The defendant admitted to police that the two handguns seized from his home did, in fact, belong to him. Lopez told the police that he bought the firearms from an unidentified person at the Indian Head Casino in Warm Springs.
The case was investigated by the Warm Springs Police Department’s HIDTA task force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Kerin prosecuted the case.