FRESNO — Victor Lopez, son of longtime Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez Sr., was found guilty Tuesday for possession of a controlled substance.
Jurors in the Fresno Superior Court deliberated for a few hours over two days before handing in their guilty verdict. Lopez will face up to three years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
Lopez, 44, said his trial was politically motivated and that he was targeted because of his father’s position as the mayor of Orange Cove, saying that his father has many enemies.
“People, I guess, don’t really like what my father is doing. My dad does good for the city,” he said after the trial. “He works very hard for where he’s at today and they want to try to go after me because of my dad.”
Lopez was arrested Nov. 4, 2009 when Fresno County sheriff’s deputies raided his home and found six methadone pills in a kitchen cabinet. According to Det. Jason Hollins, Lopez first said that he had a prescription for the pills and then later changed his story, saying they were a friend’s and had been left at his home on accident.
The raid on Lopez’s home was brought on after a two-month identity theft investigation led sheriff’s deputies to his house. Someone had tipped off the sheriff’s department, saying that Lopez had stolen city property and was trading methamphetamine for credit card information.
Deputies didn’t find stolen property or methamphetamine in Lopez’s home, according to his lawyer Robert Dulce.
Lopez is free on his own recognizance until his sentencing.