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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man charged in a cocaine bust that led to the death of a Brunswick County Sheriff’s K-9 will spend more than 11 years in prison.

A federal judge sentenced Jamie Gonzalez-Lopez, 33, of Mexico, to 135 months imprisonment. Gonzalez-Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possession with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or
more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

Prosecutor say on July 16, 2011, a government agent ordered a kilogram of cocaine from Gonzalez-Lopez, which he and another person delivered to an area in Ash. Gonzalez-Lopez hid the cocaine in a field prior to completing the sale. Law enforcement arrested Gonzalez-Lopez and his co-defendant after they had been shown the buy money.

Deputies sent K-9 Viper into the field to find the hidden cocaine. Viper found the cocaine, but ripped open the package and accidentally ingested some of the cocaine, which killed the dog.

The investigation reveled that Gonzalez-Lopez was responsible for distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest08

    Roy you just wanted to see your name and comment in the paper.Hey what about you and your friends Leroy that get high from time to time .Thats right you gave it up after college.

  • claude slagenhop

    Crazy drug war. Stop the drug war and let them all out of jail. We cant afford it anymore.

  • Jamesb

    Was this guy here illegally? Ya, IT MATTERS. The impression Obama and others leavve us with is that “illegals are Americans too, no problem – they just want a better life.”

    Sure, distributing large volumes of cocaine?

    RIP to the drug K-9, doing his job, died in the line of duty.

  • Guest334

    He was no doubt sentenced for drug dealing, but there is a trend of giving police dogs authority over human beings. It’s very disturbing and needs to stop. When killing a police dog is prosecuted in the same way as killing a police officer we have a severe problem.

    When drugs are legalized the cartels will go out of business overnight.

  • Willbur

    I don’t condone what the man did, but this doesn’t seem right. If a cop trips over his shoelaces and breaks his neck chasing someone – does the perp get charged with murder? If so that is crazy.

  • NoNonSenseK9

    Pro canine behaviorist and trainer for 4 decades. This is the result of POOR TRAINING. Can we throw Cesar Milan BACK over the fence YET?

    I’ve done thousands of sniff dogs and a HUGE emphasis is always put on NOT touching the contraband when it’s found. Obviously this applies to accelerants and explosives or we’d be going through dogs like Obummer goes through taxpayer dollars.

    DEFINITELY jail the coke dealer for anything and everything you can, but let’s train your dogs a bit better and save them from STUPIDITY as a cause of death on their certificates like in this case.

  • Bag of Hammers

    Blanket legalization would eliminate the cartels and the violence. We already have methadone clinics for junkies, why not cocaine clinics for the coke addicts? Oh ya that’s right, if we do that there can’t be a perpetual ‘war’ against the cartels which leads to militarization of your local police preinct. Great. I always laugh at the ‘conservatives’ who talk talk talk about cutting spending out of one side of their mouth, then out the other side they beg for the cops to get bulletproof this and that and tactical training and hire more officers and build more prisons and blaah blah blaah. Double standard much?

  • JustAGuy

    And after the 11 years are through, hopefully we’ll have a president who actually respects the law (unlike the current one) he’ll be deported.

  • ADM

    Revenge for the dead mutt.

  • Mike P

    I love dogs, but I can’t see how this scumbag is responsible for the dog’s death. The outrage is hardly ever there when cops shoot dogs on a no-knock warrent entry. Bad headline.

  • Mr Plum

    Hell, that dog should get 11 years for doing drugs.

  • dave

    He should die in jail – he (it) is a total POS

  • Skater

    Say what? Talk about a double standard! Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE dogs, and am saddened that this beautiful animal died. But what HYPOCRITES the police are! They seem to think they can shoot family pets with impunity when they encounter them, but when THEIR dogs are hurt it’s a crime??? How about the police show the dogs that belong to citizens the same respect they demand for their own dogs?

  • Roy

    Obama will soon be releasing drug offenders to vote in this years election…cocaine and all…ask around if they have heard of voter registration efforts at our prisons

  • Founders1791

    The lame stream media strikes(out) again and fails to even remotely TELL THE TRUTH.

    From the title, and throughout this article, it is conveyed to the reader that the defendant was sentenced to 11 years “..for the death of the dog…” when that was not the case AT ALL!

    Move on folks…..another story that is not what the title claims.

  • Spooner

    The use if innocent animals in the drug war is a shame. The officers should feel terrible for involving the animal in their intimidation and terror squad.

    As for the business owner, he was justified in protecting himself and his property. THere is no differnece in his actions and those of a gas station attendent defening his store from a gang of armed thugs (who happened to use a dog as well).

  • Ed Itter

    “The investigation reveled [sic] that Gonzalez-Lopez was responsible for distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine.”

    To revel means to take great pleasure or delight [in].

    WWAY TV3 actually wants its readers/viewers to believe that the “investigation” took great pleasure and delighted in Gonzalez-Lopez’s distribution of cocaine?

    Where is the evidence supporting your ridiculous assertion?

  • jaycee

    pedophiles walk free. BACKWARDS!!!

  • building-5

    “accidentally ingested some of the cocaine”?, lol, the dog ATE it. Plus, it’s a DOG., It’s not worth an 11 year sentence.

  • Testicus

    i fail to see how it’s Gonzalez-Lopez’s fault the dog died? dumb dog was sent by a dumber sheriff and ate the cocaine. i’m not pleased about illegal aliens from Mexico dealing drugs over here, and deporting him will only temporarily keep him from selling coke, but assigning guilt for something he didn’t do is the same as lying. the sheriff sent the dog to its death, not Gonzalez-Lopez.

  • alanwillingham

    Government agents sending a dog to find a dangerous substance instead of going after it themselves has once again resulted in a tragic and needless death. Children and dogs are not mentally developed enough to the point they should be forced to handle dangerous chemicals.

  • Anonymous Coward

    the police just shoot the family dog as SOP.

  • Red

    The judge gave this guy 135 months! He should have gotten 135 years!

  • Bo Hamburger

    Scooby Crack! Scooby Crack!

  • Wilmington Observer

    Wxactly how much time did this jerk get for the death of the law enforcement officer? It sounds as if all of his sentence was drug related. He sould have received, at least, eleven years for the death of Viper!!

    Wilmington Observer

  • Beach Bum

    Felony Murder Rule

  • Beach Bum

    Blah Blah Blah…

    Heard it all before. Say that crap when you are getting punked out and robbed. Say that crap when you get forced in watching your family get violated.

    Enjoy the fefe convict.

  • Beach Bum

    Perhaps if this foreign national had not been in my country illegally, this story would not of come to fruition.

  • fozbot98

    I am wondering if anyone commenting actually read the article. This man was charged federally for “conspiracy to possession with intent to distribute and distribute 500 grams or
    more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.” Where does it say anything about the dog? It doesn’t. That does not fall under federal jurisdiction. Just an observation.

  • Robin

    Gives new meaning to my dog ate my homework.
    Sorry for the Dog, but hardly merits 11 years in prison for one pound of cocaine.
    I wonder if anyone does the math anymore.At about 30K a year to incarcerate Lopez we could sell the coke for more than it will cost is to jail the idiot…Or are we the idiots?

  • Jerry

    Looking at it from the dog perspective:
    So, my responsible owner, knowingly knew there was a dangerous amount of a very dangerous drug that if ingested would kill me in this field?

    The death of this animal in now 50% irresponsible owner.
    Whatever time this cocaine dealer got for the death of the dog should also be the same sentence of the current handler.

  • Elmer Fudd

    Everybody has a right to defend his freedom and his property. If you’re sick of the War on (some) Drugs, you need to register to vote, volunteer for jury duty, and vote NOT GUILTY regardless of the evidence.

  • 1frozenmigra

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the DOJ, the Attorney General and the POTUS all were seeking justice for the Federal Agent murder because of a failed Obama Admin operation named Fast & Furious. The POTUS is protecting the AG, the AG is protecting……….well, we don’t really know or understand why Holder is stonewalling the investigation……it is clear the heads of several agencies (USBP, DOJ, ATF, DEA, FBI and the DHS) are all keeping quiet.

    We all saw how fast and furious the DIJ, the POTUS the heads of the big agencies “attacked” the sex scandal involving the Secret Service in “Escort gate”…….the money spent, the speed and depth of the investigation….the time and effort…the Lib controlled media helping where they could……and what about Justice for BPA Terry?

    Hey, at least one Federal Judge has his/her head on straight.

  • janvones

    The “crime” would not have happened if the agents hadn’t suborned it and they are the ones responsible for the dog’s training.

  • Calvin LaBash

    Why all the fuss….. ILLEGAL ALIENS can do what they want in this country, if you don’t like it America, put up or shut up!

  • real news

    If this guy got 11 years for killing a police dog, How many years should Obama and Holder get for their involvement in the murder of Brian Terry, the border patrol agent , that was murdered with the guns from Fast and Furious? I say life or be put on death row!

  • UisConfruzed

    The pusher should only be punished for his crime, the dog trainer/ handler failed the dog that was TRAINED to locate drugs, yet it wasn’t poisoned proofed/ trained to not eat them? If the handler isn’t beside the dog, nor is it poison proofed, every druggie can protect their stash simply by rolling rat poison in meat, or failing to put away antifreeze. The handler is solely responsible for this death.

  • Oscar

    How many years will those involved in the Fast and Furious get from the death of a government representative? And who knows how many others?
    Or is providing guns to drug cartel people somewhat less offensive than the death of a police dog?

  • Ruth Marie

    Not about the subject of the story, but the writing of the story itself. How did this get by the editors at WWAY (if there are any)? It was so hard to read with the misspellings and improper grammar, I can’t believe this story was edited at all.

  • Ziegler

    ?? Was he imprisoned for the drugs or the death of a lower mammal? Dealing cocaine has some serious time associated with it. Killing a dog, whether in law enforcement or not, should not carry anything along the lines of a Murder or even Manslaughter charge which some states are happy to do. If there were no charges for the dog dying, then no need for the misleading headline. Journalism is dead

  • Tom

    Jamie Gonzalez-Lopez, 33, of Mexico, another cocaine dealer from Mexico.

  • aberdeenvet

    Lock him up with no parole. when he finishes his sentence, ensure that all information regarding him be made aware to all applicable government agencies and the public, and ensure that he gets put into Mexico any way possible immediately upon release from prison.

  • Ringer

    Looks like the dog handler was to blame. This animal wasn’t well trained.

  • Ian

    Dumb story. Did the dogs death effect the sentence? Why are we so concerned about the K-9 dying? Glad to see a foreign illegal trespasser will be spending such quality time in an NC penal facility.

  • Rich

    Another needless death. The handler should be fired for not preventing the dogs death. How sad.

  • Kyle5561

    They sentence killers to fewer years than that. The whole idea of using animals as law enforcement is absurd. It really doesn’t help when you have these “funerals” for the k-9 dogs that treat them like people. Seems they humanize animals and dehumanize people. Was it this guy’s fault the dog ingested cocaine?? No.

  • DC

    What would Micheal Vick do?

  • Mr Gonzalez-Lopez is hardly likely to spend the full 11¼ years in jail before being paroled.

  • Bombdog Hamilton

    and that my friends is why I always taught the passive alert… the fault is the K-9 handler rule # 1 always make sure your dog will not ingest the Narcotic or keep the dog on a leash and look for his search ques … If you know your dog you can tell when he has the odor

  • COTF


    1) “law enforcement” commits a crime by trying to buy drugs (which are illegal so that, among other things, they can pretend to do something which is not as clearly idiotic and criminal as shutting down unlicensed lemonade stands)

    2) a stupid dog eats some of the coke

    3) dog dies because either he is plain dumb, or has been poorly trained by a plain dumb thug-with-a-badge

    4) send the guy selling the drugs to jail for 11 years.

    And what of the dumb thug-with-a-badge? He gets a promotion, of course.

  • Alan

    If they would just legalize drugs none of this would happen.

    Let people make their own choices what they want to put in their body. If they end up hurting someone, stealing, or so happen to engage in other illegal activities that hurt, harm, or cause injury or loss to someone else, then charge them with THAT.

    There has been no good from the Drug War. It’s a failed policy.

  • Guest157

    Good! Better yet…send him back to Mexico. We don’t need to waste anymore tax dollars on this creep…He should have gotten a stiffer penelty as this crime was a direct result of the death of Viper.

  • pkpost

    Ridiculous. I’m all for the punishment fitting the crime, but this guy wasn’t the one who forced the dog to consume any cocaine. Fine him the cost of training the dog and replacing it, but in the end the police were the ones responsible because they specifically trained the dog to be put in this position.

  • guesty

    Wow, such bitterness. You must have been busted by the police in the past. Maybe you are ILM NATIVE’s boyfriend that was arrested that got him so upset with police.

  • Guest2020

    Your logic is rather backwards. If not for this man’s illegal activity, the dog would not have been put in a position to even be around cocaine. That’s like saying that it’s the department’s fault if a police officer gets killed in the line of duty, because they trained him to be a police officer. If a fireman gets killed in a fire, is it the fire department’s fault for training him to be a fireman? If I was to get killed in a car accident, will it be my driving instructor’s fault? I could go on, but if you don’t get the point by know, then that’s your problem, not mine.

  • Guest2020

    Say a LEO stops a suspect for a traffic violation and the driver gets out and runs into the woods. The LEO runs after him. The passenger of the suspect vehicle gets out and runs after them. Would you rather have that LEO in the woods alone with two suspects or would like to have a trained dog giving chase to assist the LEO?

    Two armed men walk into a bank. One of the armed men shoots and kills someone. Was it the other man’s fault that his partner killed the person?

    If the man had not been involved in illegal activity, then the dog would not have been needed at the scene of the crime and would not have been killed as a direct result of the illegal activity.

  • Guest08

    The same amount of time as President Bush for the killing of all the soldiers on his war against weapons of mass destruction(you remember that lie he told)or the CIA for drugs into the country(the biggest drug dealers in this country, allegedly)It seems you all are worried more about the dog rather than the drugs.And i love dogs but get real people we are talking about a dog!!!!

  • portcity rider

    Your country??? Really.Dig deep and you might get it.

  • fozbot98

    Here again, this does not fall under federal juridiction for DRUG CHARGES which he was convicted of. But since you claim felony murder rule, NCGS 14-17 states “…premeditated killing, or which shall be committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of any arson, rape or sex offense, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or other felony committed or attempted with the USE OF A DEADLY WEAPON shall be deemed murder in the first degree.”

    So, to claim felony murder rule, he needs to be charged with murder. Not drug charges. He was in federal court. Not state court. The death of the dog, however tragic, will have to be pursued in state court. Like I said before. Read!!

  • tweety12

    Continue to play football(what about you)

  • Whitewollff


  • Guest is da best

    Look, I hate illegal immigration and i despise deug dealers. The thought of an illegal immigrant drug dealer killing a cop makes me want to send every illegal immigrant back to Mexico… And then nuke Mexico… But get real, this guy didn’t kill a cop, he killed a dog. If we insist on holding these dogs up as “police officers” (which they are not) then they should be held to the same standard – if a human cop found the cocaine and ripped it open with his mouth and ingested a large quantity of cocaine I sincerely doubt this guy would be held liable for his death. Come on, this is crazy. I LOVE dogs, but they are not people and they sure as hell aren’t cops.

  • John Olouise

    The dog “accidentally” ingested it. So we are going to charge the guy because he killed the dog or because he was selling drugs?

    The dog dieing is irrelevant to the story. It should be “man sentenced for drug deal” . Now if he was trying to get away and shot at the dog, that would of been resisting arrest and attacking law enforcement.

  • DrudgeReportRocks

    It’s not the guys fault the dog was too stupid to know NOT to eat the cocaine, if anything the dog’s handler should have been convicted. After all it was THAT PERSON who taught this dog that anything that smelled like drugs resembled a toy. Ignorant cops, judges and jurors just convicted a man who did nothing to this dog. I hope that cop goes to hell and gets a hot glowing rod stuffed in his butt for the way he treated and what he taught that dog to do. When the cop let that dog loose in that field he knew there was a great possibility that dog would identify that smell as a toy. There is a special place in hell for a P.O.S. like this.

  • Guest461

    …for a person that purposely distributes poison that kills people, ruins life, families and marriages all for the sake of a dollar. 5 Kilograms is five THOUSAND grams, ELEVEN pounds of cocaine, double that amount after it’s cut! He’ll be back on the street in less than 5 years doing it all over again with an ear-to-ear grin.

    Thanks judge! Once again, you’ve done a disservice to the people of this county andd state with your lighthearted sentence! This criminal was hell-bent to destroy a lot of people. I know, I know…”Drug dealers are humans too.”, right? So whats wrong you and what’s wrong with 75 years?

  • DrugCopsNeedFunding

    A waste of a dog’s life. Should have been playing with children instead of sniffing for cocaine. “Law” Enforcement should find real crimes to fight, people who want to do drugs may be hurting themselves if they abuse it, but are not committing any crimes against anyone else.

    No victim, no crime. Drug cops should find a more dignified job like panhandling or prostitution to do for a living. Why do you think criminal justice job commercials are featured at the same time as bad credit and herpes commercials?

  • longspree

    I guess this fella will not qualify for Obama’s amnesty.

  • Guestk9

    These dogs are bizarrely trained to associate the smell of drugs with rewards of food, praise and play.

    The dog was sent to find the package. He didn’t accidentally stumble upon it while doing something natural, like chasing a rabbit.

    The handler took the dog into this environment, led him to find dangerous drugs and failed to control him.

    using dogs like this is as bad as slavery and should be stopped.

  • PoorlytrainedDog

    LMFAO, So the guy has to do extra time in prison because the police dog was stupid? What if it was one of the officers who found it, ingested it, and died? Would he then be doing extra time for involuntary manslaughter cause the cop was stupid? The death of the dog is sad, but it appears he was of the rejected stock lol. And at least he died comfortably numb!

  • KathyT

    Inadequate training killed that dog not the drug dealer. The dog might not have had the right temperament for the job either and probably should have been washed out of the program. Retrievers have a strong instinct to shake the prey once they catch it but it is trained out of them. Sheep dogs have a strong instinct to attack the sheep and kill them but that is trained out of them too. This dog got too excited and acted on instinct once he found his ”prey” which was what he was taught by his trainer. I can’t believe he never did that activity in training exercises. They alone are responsible for his unfortunate death. RIP Viper

  • bumpkin

    It would seem to me that prosecution would have to prove the dog wouldn’t have torn open the package if it were on any other bust- just this one, that led to the dog ingesting the cocaine. This dog died in the line of duty, and it was trained to retrieve drugs, so this should have been trainer error for not teaching the dog to avoid biting the package… Unless, of course, the package was painted with steak juice, or something unusual. While the perp should go to prison for running drugs, he should not have been prosecuted for the obviously accidental death of the dog, since he did not cause the dog to bite the package. -Again, unless he’d slathered the package with meat or some other dog attractant to cause the dog to bite it. Error in either judgment or in reporting.

  • Roy

    You did you dog a grave disservice by not training him better. He should never have picked up the package. If it had been boobie trapped you would have had Dog meat. You dumbies need some retraining.

  • Harry Peterson

    these are the ILLEGALS that obama wants to keep here

  • portcity rider

    Harry i know its hard for you to read what actually was said.If you read the policy you could actually state fact.Thats to much like right.

  • Felix

    Legally, in most states, police dogs are consider police officers and ergo harming these dogs carries HUGE penalties. DAs/Cops can’t have it both ways. If that dog is legally a cop, then that “cop” was a “dirty” cop who ILLEGALLY used cocaine and died as a result of that “police officer’s OWN actions. So strike one cocaine consuming dirty cop from the police force. Lucky for the dog he died, otherwise internal affairs would have been all over him. BTW, Isn’t it fun to enforce consistency to those that make silly claims about a dog being a real police officer?

  • Outraged Guest

    How ridiculous… This is just another example of how the war on drugs has been nothing more than an utter catastrophe. 500 grams ain’t nothing – that’s 0.5 kg – it’s hardly anything. And how can you correlate the dog’s drug addiction to Gonzalez’s supposed crime? How is Gonzalez responsible for the death of Viper if the officers themselves set up the cocaine deal?! This drives me absolute bananas..

    The article’s title btw is really misleading because it makes you feel as if the man directly killed the “Viper” the police dog. Which isn’t the case at all…

    The dog was clearly a textbook a coke-loving canine who was less interested in doing his police duties and was more interested in getting his fix. I think Viper got what he deserved and will not be missed by anyone on God’s green Earth. RIH, Viper… RIH.

  • Guester

    The reporter fails to say if the srug dealer is illegally here to begin with. Bet ya a month’s health care tax he is.

  • Calvin LaBash

    What’s all the fuss… ILLEGAL ALIENS can do what they want in this country, get use to it America. PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!!


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