Traffic stop leads to felony drug charge, then probation

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Joe S. Lopez IV

McCOOK, Neb. — A McCook man arrested for driving on a suspended license and having fictitious plates, prior to turning over a meth pipe to a jailer preparing to search him, was sentenced to probation earlier this month in Red Willow County District Court.

The man, 18-year-old Joe S. Lopez IV of 1107 East 3rd Street, was originally facing a Class IV felony offense alleging possession of methamphetamine, a pair of Class 3 misdemeanors alleging he was driving on a suspended license and with fictitious plates, and an infraction alleging possession of drug paraphernalia. The arresting officer also sought an additional offense alleging no registration.

Lopez subsequently accepted a plea agreement admitting guilt to three misdemeanor offenses; including a Class I misdemeanor offense for attempted possession of meth and the two Class 3 misdemeanor offenses for driving under suspension and having fictitious plates.

He was sentenced to 24 months probation during a May 1, 2017, sentencing hearing.

The possession of meth allegation stemmed from a pipe Lopez revealed, and said was stashed in his “crotch,” while being searched by a Red Willow County jailer prior to admission. Lopez subsequently admitted to the arresting officer the substance on the pipe was meth and stated he had smoked it two days prior, according to court documents.

Other activity in Red Willow County District Court, May 1, 2017:

* A Trenton woman, recently relocated from Greeley, Colorado, pleaded not guilty to a Class 2A felony alleging unauthorized use of a financial transaction device. The woman, 46-year-old Christina J. Jude, was subsequently scheduled for a motions hearing on June 12, 2017.

Jude is accused of using fraudulent credit cards to make more than $5,000 in purchases at area merchants within a six month time period.

A Loveland, Colorado, man also pleaded not guilty to a Class 2A felony he faces for his alleged role in the crimes. The man, 40-year-old Michael P. Anderson, was similarly scheduled for a motions hearing at 11:30 a.m. on June 12, 2017.

* A case against a Cambridge man, who pleaded no contest to a Class 2A felony alleging DUI (.22) with three prior convictions in February, was continued until 1:30 p.m. on July 10, 2017. The charge against the man, 28-year-old Delaine Kester, stems from a Dec. 23, 2016, arrest.