GOSHEN — A Goshen woman received her sentence Tuesday, several months after she was convicted on drug charges.
A jury in Elkhart County Superior Court 3 found Anita Lopez, 63, of Goshen, guilty on one count of dealing in cocaine, a Class A felony. Lopez’s trial ended July 26 and she was originally scheduled for sentencing Aug. 16, but the hearing was continued several times. According to court documents, on at least one occasion the hearing was continued because of a lack of an interpreter.
She was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Lopez was convicted after the jury heard evidence from an investigation into Lopez’s son, Valfredo “Freddy” Lopez, by the Elkhart County Interdiction and Covert Enforcement Unit (ICE) and the Goshen Police Department. Valfredo Lopez was also sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of dealing in cocaine. He was sentenced in 2008.
According to a press release from the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office, the investigation by the ICE unit resulted in three separate purchases of cocaine from Valfredo Lopez and the execution of a search warrant Oct. 18, 2007, at Anita Lopez’s residence at 209 S. Ninth St.
During the search warrant, police found Anita Lopez trying to hide her son in a trap door that was built into the floor of a closet. They also found more than $10,000 and about .5 ounces of cocaine.
Anita Lopez’s attorney argued the person responsible for the cocaine was her son, but evidence was shown that her home was barricaded to frustrate police entry and that it was equipped with a remote television security system. As a result, the jury discounted the arguments made by Anita’s attorney.