A Montezuma County resident on a 12-month deferred sentence for drug charges in February 2018 picked up similar drug charges in December and in 2019 received two summons after her dog allegedly killed a neighbor’s sheep on County Road 33.
Deputy District Attorney Sheena Goldsborough said Wednesday in Montezuma County Court that she has offered Marque Lopez, 25, a misdemeanor plea deal for the December drug charges, which would dismiss a Class 4 drug felony.
Lopez and public defender John Moran indicated they were not prepared to accept or reject the offer.
But Montezuma County Judge JenniLynn Lawrence, after noting that Lopez is on a deferred sentence for similar charges and was arrested for “same thing,” continued the disposition hearing to Jan. 16.
Lopez was arrested by a Mancos deputy marshal on Feb. 18 on meth charges. She was a passenger in a GMC pickup that was stopped for a cracked windshield and turn-signal violation on North Willow Street, according to a Mancos Marshal’s Office report.
During the stop, Lopez reportedly threw a blue purse onto the passenger seat. Inside, the deputy reported finding three hypodermic needles and 1.2 grams of a crystal substance that later tested positive for meth.
She was charged in Montezuma County Court with possession of a schedule II controlled substance, a Class 4 drug felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was granted a 12-month deferred sentence on May 9. After the new drug charges in December, however, the District Attorney’s Office on Dec. 19 filed a notice of intent to prosecute.
A Cortez Police Department sergeant stopped Lopez on Dec. 6 as she drove a Chrysler 300 with expired registration on Montelores Avenue with passenger Gina Marquez.
Cortez Police Lt. Andy Brock said the car was a “vehicle of interest” in a Sheriff’s Office search for two people with active warrants at a residence northwest of Cortez. Brock did not identify the people with warrants.
Authorities believe Lopez and Marquez dropped off the suspects before the traffic stop.
A Cortez Police K9 unit arrived and indicated the presence of drugs, according to the incident report. Marquez, the owner of the vehicle, consented to a vehicle search.
During a search, officers found Lopez’s purse, which contained five Clonazepam pills and no prescription, in the back seat. A locked box in the purse reportedly contained four syringes, a white dish with residue and a half-gram of a substance that tested positive for meth.
For that arrest, Lopez is charged in Montezuma County Court with possessing a schedule II controlled substance (meth), a Class 4 drug felony; possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (Clonazepam), a Class 1 drug misdemeanor; failing to display license plates and driving without proof of insurance.
Court records indicate Goldsborough has offered Lopez a misdemeanor plea for possession of Clonazepam, which is a tranquilizer for seizures, panic attacks and anxiety. The plea would dismiss the felony charge of meth possession.
All parties will return to court at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday for another attempt at a plea deal.
Lopez also will be in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday for an arraignment on misdemeanor charges of possessing a dog that caused bodily injury to a person or property and owning a dangerous dog that inflicts bodily injury upon a person or domestic animal.
Lopez’s neighbors on County Road 33 have made at least four reports to the Sheriff’s Office from Nov. 5 to Jan. 8 regarding loose dogs that have attacked their sheep, killing one and injuring two.
The sheep were valued at $400 each.
On Christmas Eve, two deputies responded to the house next door, at 13777 County Road 33, and saw Lopez rounding up about 10 loose dogs. Lopez informed the deputies that she kept the dogs outside while her family opened presents for Christmas.
A deputy reported that one dog, a medium-size black-and-white pit bull named Kilo, had blood on its mouth and front legs.
Loose dogs also were reported about three weeks later. Three residents in the area filled out voluntary witness statements, and one homeowner provided video of the loose dogs, according to the incident report.
Lopez is being charged in Montezuma County Court with possession of a dog not under control. Her father, Frankie Lopez, was cited for a dog not under control on Jan. 8. Both are scheduled for arraignment at 9 a.m. Jan. 23.
According to a Montezuma County resolution and Colorado Revised Statutes, Lopez could face a $1,000 fine or 12 months in prison for each time a dog attacked a person or property.
Sheriff Steve Nowlin said the dog could be taken away or destroyed through a court order.