Waco, Tx (FOX44) – A man and woman who claimed to be smuggling for the Gulf Cartel remain in the McLennan County Jail after a large quantity of various drugs were found following a traffic stop.
Armando David Lopez and Estrellita Lopez, who list addresses in Mercedes in South Texas, were taken into custody following the stop on northbound I-35 near West Loop 340.
The arrest affidavit stated that a DPS trooper made the stop on a black 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer for following too closely and failure to signal lane changes. The trooper indicated that in addition to the two adults a one year, seven month old child was in a car seat in the back.
The affidavit stated that after the man and woman gave contradicting stories about where they were going, a free-air sniff around outside the car by a K-9 resulted in a positive alert by the dog. At this point, a probable cause search was conducted that the affidavit stated “revealed numerous types of illegal narcotics hidden throughout the vehicle.”
The affidavit stated that three trash bags containing suspected alprazolam were found concealed inside a subwoofer speaker box in the trunk of the vehicle. Three hundred jars of alprazolam were found, which yielded an approximate weight of 40 pounds.
Inside the back seat, leaning against the child car seat, the affidavit said a baby backpack was found with child supplies and diapers. Underneath the diapers, there were three tightly-wrapped bundles of narcotics described as unmarked pills with a white powder inside which tested positive for tramadol. This was suspected to be mixed with fentanyl powder – totaling 2.34 pounds.
The affidavit said there was also one bottle of promethazine with codeine yielding 305 grams, four medroxyprogesterone injections of about 60 grams, and 20 tablets of sildenafil of about 156.24 grams. A loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun was found beside the driver’s seat.
At this point, the driver and passenger were placed under arrest with the Texas DPS Criminal Investigation Division notified. They then responded to the scene.
The affidavit stated that an interview with Armando Lopez resulted in the admission that he drove outbound from the U.S. to Mexico to pick up the narcotics and concealed the material throughout the vehicle himself. The affidavit quoted Lopez as saying he drove through the Port of Entry checkpoints with the intent to smuggle the narcotics to an address in Dallas. Lopez said he believed he was transporting cocaine, and said he was receiving $3,000 in exchange for smuggling the drugs to Dallas. He also admitted he has been smuggling narcotics into the United States for the Gulf Cartel.
The affidavit stated that Estrellita Lopez knew the narcotics were in the baby’s diaper bag and saw them in the bag. The Department of Family Protective Services came to the scene and took the baby into custody.
Armando David Lopez remained in the McLennan County Jail on Wednesday on a total of five different drug charges plus abandoning or endangering a child and unlawfully carrying a weapon with his bond totaling $335,000.
Estrellita Mercedes Lopez remained in the jail on the same five drug charges and endangering a child with her bond set at $330,000.