Trial starts for son of Orange Cove mayor
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With his father's re-election bid just a couple weeks away, Victor Lopez Junior is on trial for a felony drug charge.
Action News was there when the Orange Cove mayor's son was arrested last November, and we heard all the testimony Friday.
It looked like big trouble when sheriff's deputies served a search warrant on the home of Victor Lopez Junior in November 2009.
Ten law enforcement officers searched the Orange Cove home and Action News got this exclusive video of deputies driving away with the mayor's son, under arrest.
In court Friday, eleven months later, an undercover narcotics officer showed a Fresno County jury the six methadone pills he seized. He said Lopez admitted to taking a couple of the pills, which were given to him by a friend named Jose. But Lopez's attorney denied there was any such confession. He said Jose Ocejo, a friend who had a legal prescription, accidentally left the pills at Lopez's home.
Defense Attorney, Roberto Dulce said, "Our position has always been that was Mr. Ocejo's methadone, not Mr. Lopez's methadone.
The defense chose not to let Lopez testify and they didn't call Ocejo to the stand either. Instead, they called Ocejo's wife to explain how she and her husband left the drugs behind. Under cross-examination, she also admitted she was drunk that night, she never told her story about the drugs until ten months after the incident, and she's been a close friend of Lopez's for 30 years.
Dulce said, "I'm not under any delusions that when you go up against a law enforcement officer and you're a civilian, you're behind the 8 ball."
Jurors could decide the case as soon as Monday. Lopez faces three years in prison if convicted.
orange cove, fresno county, court, crimetracker, local, corin hoggard
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