California authorities arrested a Fresno-area woman who is accused of spending thousands of dollars on guns for her son’s gang, KFSN-TV reported.
The woman recently received a whopping $4.9 million settlement after her other son was killed by police officers in a 2017 incident in which he was reportedly fleeing from police during an attempted arrest.
What are the details?
According to local reports, authorities arrested 42-year-old Christina Lopez of Madera, California — who received the settlement in April following the death of her 16-year-old son, Isiah Murrietta-Golding — after she reportedly bought guns and gave them to her 14-year-old son and members of the gang to which he reportedly belongs.
Lopez faces 22 counts of gun trafficking charges, including conspiracy to provide firearms to a minor for the benefit of a street gang, child endangerment, and conspiracy to provide a firearm to a gang member.
She was just one of 14 people who were charged in connection with Fresno-area gang activity that was reportedly behind the shooting deaths of two men in July and September.
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In a statement, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said, “She has continued now to take the money from her settlement that she received from the city of Fresno to buy a home where she lives in addition to spending thousands of dollars on guns that she has in turn given to her 14-year-old son. Clearly, this family has been seasoned in this type of behavior.”
Smittcamp added that the behavior of Lopez — who faces approximately 10 years in state prison if convicted on the charges — is “despicable.”
“She has been providing guns through a financial means that she has, to minor children that are 14, 15, and 16 years old,” Smittcamp said of the case, “As a mother and a prosecutor and a citizen of this county for my entire life, this is some of the most despicable behavior I’ve ever seen from a human being.”
“And she has continued now to take the money from her settlement that she received from the City of Fresno to buy and purchase a home where she lives, in addition to spending thousands of dollars on guns that she then, in turn, has given to her 14-year-old son,” Smittcamp added, “And I didn’t misspeak, 14-year-old son, who is distributing them, sharing them and selling them with other gang members in the community.”
Lopez’s unnamed 14-year-old son is also facing felony charges for gun possession, conspiracy to commit crimes, and street gang enhancements.
“This is why I say the behavior of this woman is some of the most egregious criminality that I have ever seen,” Smittcamp added, “And as a mom and as a prosecutor it is just horrendous to me that she could do this.”
Lopez’s attorney insisted, however, that she did not use any money from her settlement to purchase guns and isn’t affiliated with gang activity.
“We have to see what they have and what type of concrete, physical evidence that we can look at so that would connect her,” defense attorney Ralph Torres said in a statement on her arrest.
Lopez is due in court Tuesday.