May 14—ERIE — A Meadville man is one of 25 people indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie for their alleged involvement in a drug trafficking ring in Erie that dealt in cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine.
The alleged operation involved a cocaine distribution conspiracy in western Pennsylvania, Florida and Puerto Rico between February 2020 until this month, according to Cindy Chung, U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania.
The alleged operation also involved a conspiracy to distribute multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, hundreds of grams of fentanyl and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine in western Pennsylvania between February and May of this year.
Luis A. Lopez, 25, of Meadville was indicted along with 20 residents of Erie, and one each from New Jersey and Florida and two from Puerto Rico.
Lopez was indicted in connection with the alleged distribution multiple kilograms of cocaine; of 400 grams or more of fentanyl; and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in western Pennsylvania.
The indictment alleges Lopez and another defendant, Vincent A. Feliciano, 31, of Erie, traveled to Arizona in connection with distribution of fentanyl in Pennsylvania.
Indictments were announced Friday by Chung at a news conference in Erie, who said Erie deserved safe streets and peaceful neighborhoods.
"These charges are the result of tremendous effort and collaboration among the FBI, and our law enforcement partners, including the City of Erie Police, the Pennsylvania State Police, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Postal Service — Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service, Erie County District Attorney's Drug Taskforce, Erie County Detectives, and the Titusville, Millcreek, Oil City and Franklin police departments," Chung said.
"Through the collaboration of the agencies represented here (Friday), we have dismantled a dangerous drug trafficking organization operating in Erie County," she said.
Lopez entered a not guilty plea Friday before U.S. District Magistrate Richard Lanzillo to the three charges against him, according to court records
He has been indicted on conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; use of mail in interstate commerce in business involving narcotics or controlled substances; and distribution of 50 grams or more of substance containing methamphetamine.
Lopez also waived his right to formal detention hearing before Lanzillo, but reserved the right for a future hearing, according to court records.
He is being held in the Erie County Prison awaiting future consideration "if and when the issue of bail becomes relevant," according to an order signed by Lanzillo.
If convicted, Lopez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and fines of up to $20.26 million.