Second traffic stop in a month leads to new drug charge


A woman faces a new drug charge after encountering a Maricopa K9 during a traffic stop for the second time in a month, police said. 

Raven S. Lopez was charged with possession of narcotics last Saturday, police said. 

While on patrol at about 1 a.m., a Maricopa officer drove by Circle K at 18141 N. John Wayne Parkway and observed a Toyota Highlander at one of the gas pumps, a vehicle recognized by the officer from a previous traffic stop, police said. 

A check of the vehicle’s registration showed it was suspended, police said. The officer parked behind convenience store and waited for the Toyota to leave. 

When the vehicle left the gas station and turned south on State Route 347, the officer followed, then stopped the vehicle at Gatun Avenue and Desert Garden Road, police said. 

The officer contacted the passengers in the vehicle, recognizing both the male driver and the female passenger from a previous traffic stop, according to a probable cause statement. 

The female passenger, Lopez, was previously arrested in a June traffic stop after the department’s K9, Karma, detected the odor of narcotics about the vehicle during an “open-air sniff” of the Toyota, said police, who noted the vehicle registration was found to be suspended at that time, police said

During Saturday’s stop, the officer asked the driver and Lopez if there were any narcotics in the vehicle; the both replied there were not, according to the probable cause statement, which said the driver denied consent for the officer to search the vehicle. 

K9 Karma sniffed the vehicle again and gave officers a positive indication for the presence of narcotics on the passenger side door, police said. The K9 attempted to jump in the open driver-side window, without being commanded to do so, the police report said. 

When Lopez asked if she could grab her purse and leave the area, her request was denied. When the officer asked which purse was hers, she stated it was the black purse, police said. 

Inside the black purse, the officer found a container filled with various pills, six of which were blue M30 pills, which police identified as counterfeit Oxycodone pills known to contain fentanyl, the probable cause statement said. 

Informed of the discovery of the pills in her purse, Lopez said she thought she had cleared her stuff out of the vehicle after the previous arrest, according to the probable cause statement, which said Lopez advised the officer that she was trying to get clean but is still using the drugs. 

Lopez will face a possession of narcotics charge in the latest incident, police said.