Former and current Turlock residents are headed to prison for their roles to distribute and sell cocaine in the oil fields of Montana.
Hector Manuel Lopez, 23, and Eliseo Lopez Martinez, 50, both of Turlock, and Tomas Alvarado, 59, formerly of Turlock have all entered guilty pleas to the narcotics-related charges against them, according to the U.S. District court in Billings, Mont.
Lopez and Alvarado met up in Nevada on March 11 and Lopez gave Alvarado two pounds of cocaine. While traveling back to Billings Alvarado was stopped by the Idaho State Police and the cocaine, along with three pounds of methamphetamine and a loaded .40-caliber handgun, were discovered in his vehicle, according to the Billings Gazette.
Alvarado eventually admitted to distributing cocaine and methamphetamine at the oil fields in Billings. He was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
Alvarado agreed to cooperate with authorities, which led to the arrest o Lopez and Martinez.
Martinez owned a home in Billings that was being used as a distribution point for narcotics. A search of the residence led to the discovery of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. Martinez was sentenced to 27 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
Lopez pled guilty Thursday to possession with intent to distribute, though he stated he believed the cocaine was for Alvarado’s personal use, according to the Billings Gazette.
Lopez is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 14. He faces up to 20 years in prison.