United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that on February 7, 2020, Ignacio Tapia-Lopez, age 38, was sentenced in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. United States District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. sentenced Tapia-Lopez to 11 years, 7 months of imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After completing his term of imprisonment, Tapia-Lopez will be deported to Mexico as he is not a U.S. citizen.
On July 30, 2019, agents with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations were conducting surveillance on Tapia-Lopez as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. During the surveillance, Tapia-Lopez was observed driving a vehicle near Interstate 480 and Martha Street and was stopped by an Omaha Police Officer after committing a traffic infraction. Tapia-Lopez was identified as the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. A drug-detecting canine was deployed and alerted to the odor of narcotics coming from within the vehicle. A subsequent search revealed 23 pounds of methamphetamine in a box on the front passenger seat. During a post-arrest interview, Tapia-Lopez admitted to his involvement in distributing narcotics.