The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 31, 2013

Drug agents looking for dealer arrest two others

Man accused of threatening people with handgun

MANKATO — Two drug task force agents who were patrolling downtown Mankato in search of a wanted drug dealer ended up arresting another man and a woman for drug charges.

The Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force agents were in an unmarked vehicle in the area of the intersection of Main and Broad streets just before 5 p.m. Thursday. They were looking for another person when they saw James Michael Lopez of Mankato driving past.

One of the agents knew that Lopez, 35, didn't have a valid driver's license and was suspected to be involved in the use and sale of methamphetamine. The agent also had sent out an officer alert earlier this week because several people had reported Lopez had pointed a handgun at them in Mankato.

The agents lost sight of Lopez for a short period of time, but a request was made to dispatchers to send a police officer in a marked squad car to the area after Lopez parked in an alley in the 300 block of Cherry Street. A patrol officer and the agents were prepared to box Lopez in when he drove away.

The agents and at least two other officers stopped Lopez on Jackson Street as people working downtown were heading home at the end of the day. Lopez and the woman in his car, 21-year-old Heather Jean Boone of Windom, were arrested.

Lopez does not have previous drug convictions. Boone has been found guilty of tampering with a witness and was arrested in May 2011 in Sioux Falls, S.D., with another man who was on Mankato's Most Wanted list for drug charges. The couple had been in Sioux Falls for awhile before their arrest.

No gun was found in the vehicle, but officers reported finding a small amount of suspected methamphetamine on the floorboard. Both Lopez and Boone were charged with felony fifth-degree drug possession Friday. Lopez also was charged with driving after revocation.

The vehicle Lopez was allegedly driving also was confiscated and towed to the impound lot.

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