The federal charges against Lopez were handed down 14 months after FBI agents raided Lopez’s home, walking out with a plastic container for files and several bags labeled as evidence.
Lopez started his police career in the city of Newton in January 1994. He requested and received a lateral transfer and became a permanent full-time police officer in Lawrence three years later.
Lopez was indicted through a joint investigation by Lawrence police, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Lopez earns roughly $60,000 and was placed on paid administrative leave in September.
Although he was indicted and has not worked at the police department, Lopez, a political supporter of Mayor William Lantigua, remains on the city payroll.
As the city’s appointing authority, Lantigua must decide to shut down Lopez’s pay.
Two other police officers facing criminal charges are also still being paid by the city while being barred from working.
Deputy Chief Melix Bonilla, Lantigua’s former campaign manager, was indicted Sept. 11, 2012 by the Essex County Grand Jury on charges of bribery, extortion and conspiracy. Bonilla earns $140,000.
Carlos Gonzalez, who earns $60,000 per year, is being held in a Florida jail awaiting trial on a child rape charge.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.