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Suspect had multiple felony arrest warrants for alleged probation violations


FARMINGTON — A San Juan County man is accused of stealing $70 worth of a non-prescription medicine from a Farmington Walgreens while carrying a firearm in the waistband of his pants.

Duane Lopez Jr., 40, is accused of a second-degree felony count of aggravated burglary (armed with a deadly weapon), a misdemeanor count of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer and a petty misdemeanor count of larceny, according to the criminal complaint.

Lopez allegedly stole four to six boxes of Sudafed on June 17 from the pharmacy of the Walgreens at 4221 E. Main St. while armed, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

He did not have legal representation on June 19.

Sudafed is a brand name for a drug that contains Pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant. It is no longer stocked on store shelves, and quantities that are sold are controlled because Pseudoephedrine is a main ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamines.

The Farmington Police Department was dispatched to the pharmacy around 11:02 a.m. on June 17. Witnesses said a man approached the pharmacy counter with a black handgun in his right hand, put the gun in his waistband and jumped over the counter.

He allegedly grabbed the medicine, jumped back over the counter and left the scene. The man was wearing a blue face mask and sunglasses, and left the scene in a grey Jeep SUV.

The affidavit did not state that he pointed the gun at anyone. More than one witness said they heard the man say "I'm sorry" as he took the medicine.

Pictures of the man and the vehicle were taken from video surveillance.

It was around 2:34 p.m. that the Jeep SUV was located at a residence on County Road 5772 in Wild Horse Valley. Authorities believed that Lopez was the man who stole the items and that he also started a fire on the property where they found the Jeep, according to the affidavit. Evidence was collected from the Jeep, including the face mask they believe was used in the crime.

A search of the area resulted in the arrest of Lopez around 8:15 p.m. when he tried to enter a nearby house.

Lopez invoked his right to an attorney so an interview did not take place. The affidavit states he had four felony arrest warrants, which were issued on June 4 for failure to comply with his probation.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold him at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center without bond as he awaits trial.

A hearing on the motion is set for the afternoon of June 22 in Aztec District Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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