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Williston residents had half-pound of meth, pound of marijuana when arrested in Walsh County, charges say

GRAFTON, N.D.--Two Williston residents face multiple drug charges after the pair was arrested last fall in Park River, N.D., with what police say was a half-pound of meth and a pound of marijuana.

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GRAFTON, N.D.-Two Williston residents face multiple drug charges after the pair was arrested last fall in Park River, N.D., with what police say was a half-pound of meth and a pound of marijuana.

Job Garcia Lopez Jr., 34, appeared Wednesday in Walsh County District Court on three Class A felonies of possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver while having a firearm, a Class C felony of unlawful possession of a firearm by a violent felon, and two misdemeanors-providing false information to law enforcement and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

He and Natalie Dawn Apland, 46, were arrested Nov. 25 during a traffic stop on North Dakota Highway 17 in Park River. A Walsh County deputy stopped the vehicle around 2:30 a.m. near Hill Avenue South for failing to dim their headlights as they passed the sheriff's vehicle, according to a criminal complaint against Lopez.

After noticing a "strong odor" coming from the vehicle that officers determined was the smell of marijuana, investigators searched the vehicle and found a loaded handgun, a half-pound of meth, an ounce of black tar heroin, a pound of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.

Lopez initially told officers his name was Sandro Anthony Lopez, according to the complaint.

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Apland initially was charged with three Class A felony counts of possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver and two misdemeanor counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, but two of the charges-one for having paraphernalia and the other for intending to deliver a controlled substance-were dismissed Friday. Her initial appearance in Walsh County District Court is set for Monday.

Lopez also faces two Class C felonies-unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and possessing drug paraphernalia-and three misdemeanor counts of possessing a controlled substance in Williams County District Court. Those charges stem from a search warrant served Nov. 27 at Lopez's home at 2600 University Ave. in Williston, where officers said they found two hydrocodone pills, meth, THC wax, a handgun, ammunition and drug paraphernalia, according to charging documents.

Lopez did not have a valid prescription for hydrocodone at the time of the arrest. He also is prohibited from owning a gun since he pleaded guilty in October 2014 to multiple felonies, including robbery.

A Class A felony carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Park River is about 60 miles northwest of Grand Forks.

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