Former Bakersfield cop takes plea in drug case

Former Bakersfield cop takes plea in drug case
Ofelio Lopez (File photo)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A former Bakersfield police officer charged with drug use entered a no contest plea Tuesday in Kern County court.

Ofelio Lopez was arrested in early December after the department received a tip that he was involved with illegal drug activity. The department set up a sting, sending his to a "found property" call for a purse that contained methamphetamine, which had been seized in a prior case.

Investigators found Lopez with the drugs in his patrol car and pants pocket, and he appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

After a search of his home, Lopez was also found to be in possession of brass knuckles in violation of state law. The department said no drugs were found at the officer's home.

Police were unsure at the time if Lopez had failed to turn in other illegal drugs he had seized in the field.

Lopez pleaded no contest to a felony count of being under the influence of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm. Four other charges were dismissed.

He's set for sentencing next month. The Kern County District Attorney's office said Wednesday that the terms of his plea deal include no additional jail time and up to three years on probation, along with substance abuse counseling.