LITTLE ROCK (8-1) 

     For the second time within two weeks, officers from the Arkansas Highway Police Division (AHP) of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) have uncovered a significant shipment of illegal drugs, according to AHP Chief Ron Burks.

     On Wednesday, July 30, an eastbound tractor-trailer rig was stopped on Interstate 40 in Crittenden County near West Memphis .  During a safety inspection of the truck, officers from the Arkansas Highway Police discovered 53 bundles of cocaine weighing approximately 116 pounds with a street value estimated at over $1.3 million. 

     The driver was identified as Joaquin Lopez, age 60, of Vinton , TX .  It is believed the truck, transporting a load of clothing, was traveling from California to the New York City / New Jersey area.  Lopez was arrested at the scene for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.  He is being held at the Crittenden County Detention Center and is scheduled for arraignment in West Memphis District Court on Friday, August 1, 2008.

    Less than two weeks ago, on July 18th, AHP officers uncovered an estimated 440 pounds of cocaine in a tractor-trailer rig on Interstate 40 in Alma .  The street value of the drugs in that arrest was estimated at $4 million.  It was one of the largest discoveries of illicit drugs in the history of the agency.  

     “Our Highway Po lice are to be commended for their efforts,” stated Burks.  “O ur officers receive special training in drug intervention.  It pays off when they are on the job and encounter situations such as this.” 



For Further Information Contact:

Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
10324 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72209
Tel: 501-569-2000
FAX: 501-569-2400