Meth possession brings probation

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Joe S. Lopez III

McCOOK, Neb. -- A McCook man arrested on a felony drug charge, following a Chase County search of his residence last fall hoping to find several thousand dollars worth of stolen race gear, was sentenced to probation earlier this month in Red Willow County District Court.

The man, 47-year-old Joe S. Lopez III of 1104 East A Street, was sentenced to 30 months probation on a Class IV felony offense for possession of methamphetamine. Lopez accepted a plea agreement in May admitting guilt to the felony and dismissing an infraction alleging possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lopez was originally cited with a felony offense alleging distribution of a controlled substance, stemming from approximately three grams of meth found in his pants pocket by officers carrying out a Chase County search warrant. Law enforcement officers from the Nebraska State Patrol, Imperial Police Department and Red Willow County Sheriff's Office descended on Lopez East A Street home on Sept. 9, 2015, as part of the coordinated effort.

The search warrant stemmed from an Imperial Police Department investigation into the theft of approximately $6000 in race gear stolen from a Chase County dealership, according to court documents. Some of the stolen property was identified with the name Harchelroad Motors on it and items ranged from a full racing bodysuit to race gloves.

A metal spoon and black scale which tested positive for the presence of meth were found in Lopez bedroom during the search, in addition to several hypodermic needles. Officers also found a knife with a 12-inch blade and, after Lopez indicated he was a convicted felon, informed him he was prohibited from possessing any knife with longer than a 3-1/2 inch blade.

Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood pursued a felony possession charge and paraphernalia infraction against Lopez before reaching the plea agreement dismissing the infraction in May.