By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Former Atmore and Flomaton policeman Isaac R. Lopez was recently ordered by a Florida judge to serve 10 years in the Sunshine State’s penal system in exchange for his guilty plea to trafficking in amphetamine.
Court documents show the former lawman entered a guilty plea before Judge Coleman Robison to one count each of trafficking in more than 28 grams and less than 200 grams of meth, and use of a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony.
Had Lopez been convicted at trial, he would have faced up to 30 years in state prison, plus fines totaling $105,000.
A December 7, 2020, Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office arrest report shows that Lopez, who was a lieutenant with the Flomaton police force at the time but was off duty, arrived at a predetermined location near Molino, Fla. and bought two ounces of meth from a “drug dealer” who was actually an undercover ECSO narcotics investigator.
As Lopez left the transaction site, he was surrounded by sheriff’s deputies, including the agency’s SWAT team, and taken into custody.
Also, as part of the plea deal, Lopez admitted to prosecutors the phone he used to swap calls and texts with the fake dealer while arranging to purchase the highly addictive stimulant, was owned by the Town of Flomaton.
Escambia County, Ala. authorities charged Lopez with using his official position for personal gain and his phone for facilitating a felony, and he was fired from his Flomaton PD post. Lopez has entered a guilty plea to the Alabama ethics charges, but authorities said he likely wouldn’t be sentenced for that until near the time of his Florida release.
The former cop was released on $200,000 bond two days after his arrest in Florida, but that bond was revoked when he was arrested again in February 2022 on charges related to a “house party” he hosted near Flomaton during which he is accused of allowing at least one juvenile to partake of an alcoholic beverage.
Lopez was arrested on those charges on February 2, 2022. He remained in the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton until his extradition to Florida on December 9, 2022. From that time on, he was held in the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola until state prison system personnel picked him up three weeks ago.
Florida Department of Corrections records show the former law enforcement officer is currently housed at Northwest Florida Reception Center’s (NWFRC) male campus annex in Chipley, from which his projected release date is December 2, 2032.
The 1,415-inmate facility is adjacent to the prison’s main campus, which was described in a 2014 press report as “one of the state’s most notoriously violent prisons” after six NWFRC correctional officers were arrested and charged with felony abuse against prisoners.