Detectives arrested a man found to be in possession of methamphetamine and cocaine. This man initially failed to stop and also had his 16 year old son in the car with him.
*** UPDATE *** January 15, 2019: During the course of this investigation, Detectives learned that the suspect, Jose Olegario Lopez, is from the State of Sinaloa in Mexico. ICE Agents informed Detectives that Lopez has been deported from the United States 8 different times. Following each deportation Lopez has reentered the United States illegally. Lopez has connections to drug trafficking operations outside of Utah and is known to regularly bring drugs into Utah. The arrest in this case occurred on January 12, 2019. On the same day, in a separate case, Detectives from various agencies with the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force stopped a car and made arrests after finding 23 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of over $1,000,000.00. While the quantity of drugs seized in these two cases is significant, many other loads go through undetected, ultimately being sold in our communities. Both of these arrests were made on the day Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners was laid to rest after being shot and killed while apprehending a known drug user in an unrelated case.
January 14, 2019*** PRESS RELEASE ***: On January 12, 2019, Detectives with the Utah County Special Enforcement Team made an arrest following an investigation regarding the trafficking of illegal narcotics. Detectives from several agencies, and Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff's Office, attempted to stop a car driven by Jose Olegario Lopez, age 44, of Salt Lake City, for traffic violations. Lopez did not stop until other Deputies and Detectives surrounded his car. Because he failed to respond to the command of peace officers, Lopez was immediately taken into custody and searched. During that search Detectives found a small amount of cocaine in a coin pocket in Lopez's pants.
A K9 Officer with Spanish Fork Police had his K9 partner sniff the exterior of the car. The K9 gave a positive reaction indicating the presence of illegal narcotics. When Detectives conducted a search they found a sealed box in the car. Inside that box they found numerous individually wrapped packages. Detectives found one of the packages contained 2.35 pounds of cocaine. This equates to over 10,500 individual doses with a street value of over $106,000.00. Detectives found the remaining packages to contain 16.7 pounds of methamphetamine. This equates to over 75,000 individual doses with a street value of over $750,000.00. With Lopez in the car was his 16 year old son. Detectives believe the son was not involved with his father in the possession or distribution of these drugs. The 16 year old son was later released to his mother. Detectives also believe the mother was not involved in this incident.
Detectives contacted Agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and confirmed that Lopez is in the United States illegally. ICE Agents confirmed that he has a record of eight aggravated reentry violations. Lopez was booked into jail on two 1st degree felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute; one 2nd degree felony charge of child endangerment; one 3rd degree felony charge of failing to respond to the command of a peace officer; and one class A misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. ICE Agents placed a hold on Lopez and a judge ordered that Lopez be held without bail.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: @SGTCannonPIO