Over the past several months, Detectives with the Porterville Police Department Narcotics Investigations Unit developed information that 27-year-old Plainview resident Mario Lemus was actively selling methamphetamine.

Detectives also learned Lemus was on active County Probation for drug sales and also had an outstanding felony arrest warrant for drug sales. Based on information developed, Detectives obtained a search warrant for Lemus’ person, vehicle, and residence.

On Tuesday, November 5, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a Detective with the Narcotics Investigations Unit noticed Lemus’ vehicle parked at the Super 8 Motel in Lindsay. Assisting Detectives responded to the motel and were able to detain Lemus shortly thereafter.

Detectives responded to Lemus’ motel room, where they located 37-year-old Paquita Lopez and a 3-month-old child. Detectives also located 5½ pounds of methamphetamine packaged for sale, drug paraphernalia, and other evidence of drug sales.

Detectives administered Field Sobriety Tests to Lemus and Lopez and determined both were under the influence of a controlled substance. Detectives formed the opinion the motel room was being maintained for sales and use of methamphetamine. Detectives also formed the opinion the child was placed in grave danger based on the totality of the circumstances.

Detectives later responded to Lemus’ residence in Plainview to execute the search warrant. During a search of the residence, Detectives located further evidence that Lemus and Lopez were engaged in sales of methamphetamine.

Lemus was ultimately booked at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office South County Detention Center on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale; Maintaining a Residence for Sale and Use of Drugs; Felony Child Endangerment; Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Conspiracy; and the outstanding felony warrant for drug sales. He's being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Paquita Lopez was booked at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office South County Detention Center on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale; Maintaining a Residence for Sale and Use of Drugs; Felony Child Endangerment; Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; and Conspiracy. Lopez is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Detective Daniel Vargas at (559) 782-7400.

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