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Eric Lopez

Eric Lopez

A search for a fugitive wanted on federal charges led the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force (PVDTF) to the arrest of five other individuals and the seizure of drugs, cash and a firearm.

On Jan. 8, agents with the PVDTF arrived at a residence in the 1800 block of Quay in Carlsbad attempting to locate and apprehend Eric Lopez, 30, on charges of methamphetamine trafficking. Instead, they made contact with numerous other individuals on the property, five of whom were arrested.

Subsequent to the arrests, a search warrant was obtained for a trailer and vehicle located on the property, and the following items were seized pursuant to the warrant: 27 grams of heroin, 8 grams of meth, 6 grams of cocaine, one 9mm handgun, and $10,909 in cash.

Hector Palma, 42, an undocumented immigrant, initially produced false Mexican identification, but after being positive identified, numerous warrants for his arrest were found in Arizona and New Mexico for narcotics-related crimes.

Mark Cordova, 53, was arrested on charges of possession of meth, marijuana and hashish oil, and tampering with evidence; Frank Utter, 39, was arrested for concealing identity and possession of drug paraphernalia; Edward Ruiz, 32, was arrested for contempt of court, failure to appear, and DWI; and Leon Hopper, 50, was arrested on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, battery, interference with communications, and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Lopez remains a fugitive at large. A federal warrant for meth trafficking has been issued and is still outstanding.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact the PVDTF at 575-887-5194 or at facebook.com/pvdtf or www.pvdtf.net, or the FBI Roswell Office at 622-6001. Peron(s) providing information may remain anonymous.

The PVDTF is comprised of officers from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Carlsbad Police Department and Artesia Police Department and is part of the HIDTA Region VI Drug Task Force.