An East Moline man is facing marijuana trafficking and armed violence charges after he was arrested by Quad-City Metropolitan Enforcement Group agents who seized a handgun and at least 2,000 grams of marijuana.
Jorge L. Lopez, 21, is charged with one count of armed violence, a Class X felony under Illinois law that carries a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Usually a Class X felony carries a prison sentence of six to 30 years.
In Illinois, an armed violence charge can be brought when any person is caught with a firearm while committing a felony.
Agents seized from Lopez a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun.
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Lopez also is charged with possession with the intent to deliver between 2,000 and 5,000 grams of marijuana. That charge is a Class 1 felony that carries a prison sentence of four to 15 years.
Lopez was made his first appearance in Rock Island County Circuit Court on Friday. His bond is set at $200,000 or 10 percent. He was being held Tuesday night in the Rock Island County Jail.
Federal authorities could take over the case and charge Lopez with trafficking in marijuana.
It also is a federal offense to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime. According to federal authorities, the burden would be on Lopez to prove in court that the gun was not being used in furtherance of a drug crime. The mandatory minimum sentence for that charge is five years and is consecutive to any other prison sentence he could receive on the drug trafficking charge.
Unlike the state prison system, there is no parole in the federal prison system.