Sheriff: Crystal City Mayor had Vicodin pill when he arrived at jail

Mayor Ricardo Lopez faces third-degree felony charge

CRYSTAL CITY, Texas – Crystal City Mayor Ricardo Lopez had what appeared to be a Vicodin pill in possession when he arrived at the Zavala County jail Tuesday evening, Sheriff Eusevio Salinas said.

Vicodin is a controlled substance, which is prohibited inside correctional facilities in Texas. Anyone arrested for the violation faces a third-degree felony charge.

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Lopez faces three other charges: hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct; resisting arrest, search and transport; and possession of a prohibited controlled substance in a penal facility.

Lopez remained in jail Wednesday morning pending an appearance before a magistrate. Salinas said Lopez would go before a justice of the peace "Hopefully today, or if not, tomorrow."

Salinas said the county's justices of the peace normally arrive in the afternoon.

Lopez was arrested after leaving the city council meeting for the second time Tuesday night. The mayor originally left to get his city charter during a dispute over when he and other recalled public officials had to step down.

Witnesses said he told police to arrest a woman who had touched him earlier. They say he argued with police and left the building.

Natalia Sena, a former Crystal City resident who was at the meeting, said that's when Lopez pushed her. Police then arrested him.

"Only in Crystal City, ladies and gentlemen," Lopez said as officers led him away in handcuffs.

The meeting was recessed until Wednesday evening, but it's unclear if the council will be able to get enough members to hold the meeting if the mayor remains behind bars. Lopez, Councilman Marco Rodriguez and Councilman Joel Barajas were the only three to show up Tuesday, just meeting the minimum of three members to make a quorum.

About the Author:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.