Cocaine dealer to be deported to Mexico.

January 29, 2018

Gilberto Lopez, left, with his attorney Kelly Lambert, right, and court-assigned translator Ava Burillo.

Cocaine dealer to be deported to Mexico.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 40-year-old New Era man sentenced in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Jan. 29, to serve 11 months in jail will be deported to Mexico after he’s released from jail.

Gilberto Lopez, of 2905 Arthur Rd., pleaded guilty to three felony counts of cocaine delivery last October.

Lopez was arrested last August by State, Sheriffs’, Chiefs’ Enforcement of Narcotics Team (SSCENT) detectives for seven felony counts of delivery/manufacture of cocaine, heroin or another narcotic less than 50 grams and one count of felony firearms.

“Entry of the plea results in deportation,” said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon previously. Lopez must also forfeit his 9 mm pistol, which he was carrying at the time he committed or attempted to commit the crimes, said Judge Robert D. Springstead previously.

“He’s currently on an immigration detainer, and he will be deported after serving the sentence on this charge,” said Bizon who recommended a 12-month cap on the jail term.

Lopez has been lodged in the Oceana County Jail on a $25,000/cash/surety bond.

Lopez previously testified through a Spanish interpreter that he sold “less than 50 grams” of cocaine for “less than $1,000” from his home on three separate occasions. The drug transactions occurred during a time period from Sept. 15 through Nov. 9, 2016.

Detectives from SSCENT were assisted with their investigation over the past year and a half by the Michigan State Police, Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, Mason/Oceana Special emergency Response Team (SERT), Michigan State Police Bomb Squad, West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET) – Muskegon, Homeland Security Investigations and the Michigan State Police canine unit.

Cocaine delivery less than 50 grams is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines in the case are 0-17 months, Bizon said.

Lopez received credit for 166 days served in jail and must pay $1,660 in restitution to SSCENT.

He has no prior felony convictions and one previous misdemeanor, said his attorney Kelly Lambert. “He has been gainfully employed in the US, and he has been law-abiding otherwise.

“He accepts the fact that he will be deported,” Lambert said, “and he’s looking forward to deportation so that he can start his life anew in Mexico.”

“I am sorry what I have done and I apologize to the court,” Lopez said through his interpreter.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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