By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A former lieutenant with the Flomaton Police Department, charged December 7 in Florida with trafficking in methamphetamine and December 9 in Alabama with violation of professional ethics, is free on bond in each state.
According to the Escambia County (Fla.) Jail website, 36-year-old Isaac R. Lopez was released from that facility at 5:25 p.m. on December 9, two days after his arrest, when a $105,000 bond was posted on his behalf.
The Escambia County (Ala.) Detention Center website shows that Lopez was then transferred to the local jail, where he was processed at 7 p.m. that day on a charge of using his office for personal gain. He was released on $200,000 bond at 4:46 a.m. December 10, according to jail records.
Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office reports show that Lopez met with his “source,” who was actually an undercover ECSO officer at an undisclosed location near Pensacola. The Flomaton policeman “accepted two ounces (approximately 56 grams) of methamphetamine” from the narcotics officer and reportedly “had planned to return to Escambia County, Ala. and distribute it.”
Lopez’s vehicle was boxed in along U.S. 29, near Molino, Fla. Reports don’t indicate how much of the substance he had with him at that time, noting only that the suspect was found to be in possession of “14 grams or more of methamphetamine.”
Under Alabama Code Section 13A-12-231 (10), “any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of amphetamine …is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as ‘trafficking in amphetamine’.”
If the amount of meth is 28 grams or more but less than 500 grams, the person charged faces upon conviction “a mandatory minimum of three calendar years” in prison. A person so convicted also could face a fine of up to $50,000.
According to Code Section 36-25-5 of Alabama criminal code, the ethics violation, stemmed from the use by Lopez of a city-issued cell phone to facilitate the drug transaction. It is a Class B felony that, upon conviction, can result in a prison term of 2-20 years and a fine of up to $20,000.
FPD Chief Chance Thompson said he “served termination papers” on his former subordinate, for whom the chief apparently has little sympathy.
“Officers will be held to the same standards, if not higher, than the general public,” he told reporters. “To me, it’s just another criminal off the streets.”