FRESNO, Calif. — Alejandro Lopez, 50, a citizen of Mexico, pleaded guilty today to possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Lopez was stopped for a traffic violation in Merced County as he was driving northbound on Highway 99. Following the stop, law enforcement officers discovered approximately 32 pounds of methamphetamine in a spare tire of the vehicle that Lopez had been driving.
This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.
Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Jan. 11, 2021. Lopez faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years, and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.