Greencastle couple facing 10 meth-related counts
Two Greencastle residents are each facing 10 Class A felony counts after twice allegedly selling methamphetamine to a police informant earlier this month.
Raymond P. Lopez, 41, is charged with five counts of dealing in methamphetamine, three counts of conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine and two counts of possession of methamphetamine.
His wife, 41-year-old Amy Sheree Lopez, faces four counts of dealing in methamphetamine, four counts of conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine and two counts of possession of methamphetamine.
As Class A felonies, each charge, if convicted, carries with it a sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison.
While a number of the charges would normally be considered lower level felonies, the alleged crimes were committed at 305 Ohio St., Greencastle, which is within 1,000 feet of Ridpath Primary School.
Putnam County Sheriff's Department detectives arrested the Lopezes on warrants early Wednesday morning.
They appeared before Putnam Circuit Judge Matthew Headley via videoconference from the Putnam County Jail Wednesday afternoon.
In reading the charges, Judge Headley tried to explain the seriousness of the situation. He said some charges may be combined and potential sentences could run concurrently, but any conviction would mean serious prison time.
"It is safe to say that you could be sentenced to at least 20 years if you were convicted of all of these," Headley explained.
Amy Lopez was already out on bond following a June incident for which she is facing charges of Class D felony possession of methamphetamine, Class A misdemeanor driving with a suspended license and Class C misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.
With this in mind, Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter requested that her bond be revoked in the original case, thus remanding her to jail, and that she be released on her own recognizance in this case, a moot point if the other bond is revoked.
For Raymond Lopez, Bookwalter requested $50,000 cash only bond.
Acknowledging Bookwalter's request, Headley instead chose to place each defendant on a $50,000 cash only bond, if only to deal with the two cases in the same manner.
Both defendants had questions about the bond amount, wondering aloud how they could keep their current jobs while in jail.
"You are accused of being a dealer in methamphetamine and so for the safety of the community, I'm going to have you both held on $50,000 bonds," Headley said.
Amy Lopez pushed the matter of being released or bond being reduced further.
"There's absolutely no way I could ever make that ($50,000 bond)," she told Headley.
The judge only reiterated his previous point.
"There's a risk to the community when there are allegations of this sort," he said, before going on to explain that in the Indiana Criminal Code, there is only one class of crime more serious than a Class A felony, and that is murder.
Sydney Tongret is representing Amy Lopez in her previous case, and has been appointed to represent her in this matter as well.
A public defender will be appointed for Raymond Lopez.
Documents filed in Putnam Circuit Court allege that on Oct. 9 and 10, an informant of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department purchased methamphetamine from the Lopezes at their Ohio Street home.
While performing surveillance for the two drug buys, detectives observed that students were present at Ripath Primary School, which is just down the alley from the residence.
On one of the days, investigators even observed children outside playing on the playground while the transaction was taking place.
The informant allegedly obtained 14.1 grams of methamphetamine between the two days.
Raymond and Amy Lopez remained housed at the Putnam County Jail and await a 10 a.m. pre-trial conference on Thursday, Dec. 19.